Walking or biking to school has many more advantages than saving money on gasoline.
More walking to and from school means cleaner air, less traffic congestion, healthy habits, and support for infrastructure improvements. It can also translate to a deeper sense of community for neighborhood residents.
Obviously there are many families in situations where walking is not a feasible option. But for many others, using two legs instead of four wheels is entirely possible, especially with the help of Safe Walking Routes.
Each elementary and junior high school in the district has a SNAP (Student Neighborhood Access Program) map that outlines safe walking routes for students. These maps are updated every year by the principal and the school community council.
SNAP’s mapping software is provided by the Utah Department of Transportation to assist schools in creating and managing safe routes. Beyond safe walking routes, students should also follow these basic safety guidelines:
- Walk together – younger children should always walk with an adult. Older students should walk with a friend when possible. Don’t take shortcuts.
- Be seen – Wear bright colors. If it is dark, bring a flashlight or reflective gear.
- Look for traffic – Follow directions from crossing guards. Watch for cars in driveways and intersections. Obey all traffic signs and signals.
If you are not familiar with your neighborhood’s safe walking routes, please contact your school directly for a map. By coordinating with the school and other families, walking to school can become the best option for many students.