Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a program designed to encourage students to walk and bike to school to promote a healthy lifestyle, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. SRTS programs use a variety of education, engineering and enforcement strategies that help make routes safer for children to walk and bicycle to school and encouragement strategies to entice more children to walk and bicycle.
Bicyclists in Front of North Junior High
The SRTS Program in Boise works closely with community partners, including the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise School District, Ada County Highway District, City of Boise, Boise Police Department, Department of Environmental Quality, United Security, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

Far-Reaching Implications

  • Improve safety, not just for children, but for a community of pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Provide opportunities for people to become more physically active and to rely less on their motor vehicles.
  • Benefit the environment and a community’s quality of life by reducing traffic congestion and motor vehicle emissions.

A Few Facts

  • In 1969, 42 percent of children 5 to 18 years of age walked or bicycled to school.
  • In 2001, 16 percent of children 5 to 18 years of age walked or bicycled to school.
  • Since the implementation of Safe Routes to School in 2006, the percentage of parents supporting walking and bicycling between home and school has increased.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that of children ages 9 to 13 years, 62 percent do not participate in any organized physical activity and 23 percent do not engage in any free-time physical activity outside of school hours.
  • Less active children are more likely to be overweight.
  • Public health and medical professionals have begun to speculate that the current generation of children may be the first that will not live as long as their parents.
  • Some children today have less independence than their parents did, and this lack of independence can negatively impact their social behavior development. The sense of community created while walking and biking to school gives children the time to socialize with their peers and gain pedestrian safety skills.
  • Physical activity improves academic performance.

 School Walking Routes Map