MassDOT officials today joined students, teachers, and parents in a “walking school bus” from Ash Street in Brockton to the Kennedy School to celebrate International Walk to School Day 2011, a worldwide event with participation by over 6 million people in over 40 countries. Thousands of elementary and middle school-aged children joined hundreds of walking events today across the Commonwealth.
"Walking to school is a great way to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine, and gives students some time with their friends before the start of the school day," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey.
In Massachusetts, Walk to School Day is promoted through MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program, which works with students, parents, school staff, and local police in 124 communities and over 400 schools to promote walking and bicycling to school in order to improve students' health, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality.
MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School program provides students, parents, and the school community with education and training on transportation, safety, and health benefits from walking and bicycling to school. In addition, the program provides technical expertise to identify and fund infrastructure school access and safety improvements, such as sidewalks, traffic calming measures, and on or off-street bicycle facilities. These improvements can make bicycle and pedestrian access to schools easier and safer, and increase walking and bicycling around schools.
In 1969, 42 percent of American students bicycled or walked to school. Today, less than 16 percent of children walk or bicycle to classes. In the same period of time, the percentage of children who are overweight has tripled. In some communities, school-related traffic can contribute 10-14 percent of morning rush hour traffic volumes, as well as significant air pollution.
Safe Routes to School is part of the Healthy Transportation Compact, a transportation reform initiative promoting positive health outcomes through coordination of land use, transportation, and public health policy.
Safe Routes to School also supports GreenDOT, MassDOT’s comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability policy. GreenDOT calls for MassDOT to incorporate sustainability in all activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation.
Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel posted on May 24
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is observed during Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between …Continue Reading Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel
MBTA: Hoverboards Not Allowed posted on May 24
Effective immediately, hoverboards are prohibited on all MBTA property, including stations, buses, subways, trains, and commuter boats. MBTA subway and bus personnel, along with Keolis Commuter Rail staff have been informed that customers with hoverboards shall not be permitted to bring such devices into MBTA …Continue Reading MBTA: Hoverboards Not Allowed
MBTA General Manager DePaola Retirement posted on May 24
Frank DePaola, P.E., who has served as General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) since February 2015, announced to staff that he plans to retire after his current appointment expires on June 30. Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack thanked DePaola in a letter …Continue Reading MBTA General Manager DePaola Retirement