Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Safe Routes to School

2009 | Download

Increased physical activity is associated with better academic performance, concentration and classroom behavior. Research shows that school-age children who have opportunities to engage in physical activity are more likely to focus on academic subjects in the classroom.

Thus, students who travel to school by walking, bicycling or using other physically active forms of transportation (including skates, skateboards and non-motorized scooters) may come to school more ready to learn. Supporting active and safe transportation to and from school through local school board policy provides an opportunity to increase daily physical activity and reinforce positive health and academic outcomes among youth.

Over the past few decades, the number of students who walk and bicycle to and from school has been declining. A number of recent studies have associated the decline in active transportation to and from school with larger public health and safety concerns, such as physical inactivity, obesity, poor air quality, traffic congestion and collisions.

The Safe Routes to School federal grant program (SRTS) and state grant program (SR2S) are designed to make it easy, safe and enjoyable for students to walk and bicycle to and from school on a daily basis. This policy brief provides information about these programs and ways that school districts/county offices of education can become involved in increasing active transportation to and from school.

This policy brief, created by the California School Board Association and PHI's California Project LEAN, provides information on programs and policy strategies for  advancing safe routes to school in your community.

Read the brief.