Special Invitation to Mayors & Key Elected Officials

Join the movement of communities committed to walking and biking.

Mayor Bowser speaks at a Walk to School Day event.

Mayor Bowser – Washington, D.C.

There are two ways we invite you to join the movement. We hope you will want to do both.

1. Be Part of a Local Walk to School Day Event

Mayors have been an important part of many of the 50,000 Walk to School Day events held since it began in 1997 when two mayors, Chicago Mayor Daley and Los Angeles Mayor Riordan, led the first events. Last year, more than 1,500 mayors were invited to local events and 25% of events included mayors or other elected officials. This year’s participating mayors and their cities will be acknowledged through Walk to School Day promotions.  Sign up to announce your participation in an event in your city. Use the Mayors’ Statement to describe your commitment to safety for child and youth pedestrians and bicyclists.

2. Commit to a Future with Zero Traffic Deaths and a Focus on Youth

Join the growing number of communities working toward a future with zero traffic deaths and a focus on youth. Today mayors and their cities are taking a bold lead—they are setting a new standard with ambitious goals to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries, called Vision Zero.  The Vision Zero for Youth Initiative encourages communities to commit to creating safe environments for youth to walk and bicycle and provides a menu of ways for communities to begin to create the future they envision.

Benefits of Joining Vision Zero for Youth

Mayors and elected officials are joining the list of Vision Zero for Youth cities and communities across the USA that are working  to improve the quality of life for residents by  promoting safe walking and bicycling while setting ambitious goals to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. 

By adding your community to the list, you will have the opportunity to:

Taking Steps for a Safer Tomorrow for Everyone

Cities have identified an array of ways to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and promote walking. A growing number of cities are considering or currently implementing “Vision Zero” plans to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Critical factors include reducing motorist speeds in areas where pedestrians are present, shortening the distance to cross the street, and constructing communities where the buildings, streets, and transit system all work together for safer walking and bicycling.

Choose to start with actions that suit the issues your community is facing. Use Walk or Bike to School Day to announce your selected actions (consider introducing it by reading the Mayors’ Statement) and talk about how it will benefit children, youth and ultimately all ages.

More Information

For more information on using Bike to School Day and Walk to School Day to advance community change see Events as Tools for Change.

For more information on Vision Zero programs and the benefits of starting where children walk and bike see Focusing on the Safety of Children Can Propel Vision Zero Initiatives.

For more information on slowing down traffic where children walk and bike see The Benefits of Slowing Down Traffic — Starting Where Children Walk and Bike.

Mayors’ Statement

Mayors are encouraged to use the statement to articulate their commitment to safety. Community groups can use it to propose a proclamation, speak with media, and integrate it into public messages.

The ability of people to safely walk and bicycle is a vital part of what makes communities thrive. We recognize that by creating opportunities for children and youth to safely walk and bicycle, we can benefit people of all ages, abilities and resources. My community is committed to work to promote safe walking and bicycling and to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes among all road users. Now is the time to act. We know the benefits this would bring to the health and well-being of our children, our communities, and the nation are immeasurable.

Download the statement


The Vision Zero for Youth Initiative and Walk to School Day are led by the National Center for Safe Routes to School with support from the FIA Foundation, UNC Highway Safety Research Center and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (using funding from USDOT Federal Highway Administration).

Launched in 2016, the Vision Zero for Youth Initiative was guided by input from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the National League of Cities, the Vision Zero Network, and places with strong pedestrian programs including Los Angeles, Miami-Dade County, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.