Thousands of elementary and middle school-aged children will celebrate Walk and Bicycle to School Day on Wednesday, May 2 during events promoted through MassDOT's Safe Routes to School Program.
In 2011, 162 schools from across the Commonwealth participated in this event, the largest to date. The Safe Routes to School program has added more than 100 new partner schools this year.
MassDOT's Safe Routes to School program works with students, parents, school staff and local police departments across the Commonwealth to promote walking and bicycling to school.
“Massachusetts Walk and Bicycle to School Day reminds us that walking to school can be a fun, healthy and safe way to get to school," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "These efforts strongly support our goals of promoting healthy transportation modes through the GreenDOT initiative and Healthy Transportation Compact.”
Increasing the number of students who walk and bicycle to school helps improve students’ health, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality in Massachusetts communities.
According to the US Department of Transportation, fewer than 16 percent of children walk or bicycle to classes. School-related traffic can contribute more than 10 percent of morning rush hour traffic volumes in some communities, as well as significant air pollution. MassDOT established the Massachusetts Walk to School Day in 2007 to encourage healthy choices.