This report summarizes findings from the 2006 Walk to School Organizer survey, proposes implications of the findings and recommends actions that would strengthen the conduct of future events and increase capacity and demand for Safe Routes to School programs.
Walk to School events, conducted annually in the US since 1997, offer a way to promote the benefits of walking to school and draw attention to any barriers to walking, such as unsafe conditions. The Walk to School web site (www.walktoschool.org), currently administered by the National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRTS), offers planning guidance, resources and a registration system for US events. NCSRTS also provides site administration for the International Walk to School web site (www.iwalktoschool.org), which contains information about each participating country's activities and thousands of images of Walk to School celebrations submitted by participants from around the world.
In 2006, 2,044 schools registered on the Walk to School web site, representing a slight increase (4%) from 2005. Registration data reveal that many events are part of sustained efforts to increase safe walking and bicycling among children. In fact, slightly more than one-half (52%) of registrants indicated that their school conducts activities to promote walking and bicycling to school throughout the year. Furthermore, almost one-half (46%) indicated that their event was part of a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.