Chapel Hill, NC, is a town of partnerships and relationships; between the University of North Carolina and the Town Council, residents and college students and community groups and schools. One such relationship is between the local elementary schools, local government and Go! Chapel Hill Active Living by Design, a national program that helped to facilitate the spread and success of the Active Routes to School program in Chapel Hill.
Brevard Elementary School students and recreational walkers in the 7,000-person community in Brevard, NC, will benefit from the Gallimore Road multi-use path to be constructed with a $250,000 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure grant awarded in 2008 to the city from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Thanks to the efforts of one energetic parent, Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville, N.C., has been participating in International Walk to School Day for a number of years. Since the event’s inception in 2004, the event has evolved from a yearly event to a biannual event and then to a monthly “Walking and Wheeling” or “Strive Not to Drive” event.
In summer 2006, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board of Missoula, Mont., engaged school and community organizations in the creation of a city-wide Safe Routes to School (SRTS) steering group with the goal of increasing the number of students that walked or bicycled to school and the awareness of the benefits of walking and bicycling to school.
Evergreen Elementary School and Evergreen Middle School are in Flathead County, MT. The elementary school is on a busy, five-lane roadway at the county’s urban and rural interface. Currently, almost 25 percent of students walk to the two schools, even though there are no sidewalks on East Evergreen Drive, the street in front of the schools.
The Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (MT NAPA) at Montana State University in Bozeman, in collaboration with the local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Task Force, initiated a SRTS pilot program at the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in the hopes that the school’s success would lead to the implementation of SRTS activities at all of the six elementary schools in the city.
“Go Play” has new meaning in Billings, Montana. In 2004, the city with a population of 100,000 and with 23 elementary schools had been designated the least safe city for pedestrians in Montana by the Mean Streets Surface Transportation Policy Project.