History of Safe Routes to School
History of Safe Routes to School: United States
Safe Routes to Schools was established by the Federal Highway Administration in 2005 to break down the barriers that prevent children from walking and bicycling to school. The Center for Disease Control released a study that showed the decline in children walking and bicycling to school has had negative impacts on traffic congestion, air quality, and pedestrian and bicycle safety.
In addition, evidence has shown that children who lead sedentary lifestyles are at risk for a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Experts argue that the rising percentage of childhood obesity may be partly caused by the rising number of children who do not walk or bike to school.
History of Safe Routes to School: Mesa County
In 2016, the Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office (RTPO) received a Safe Routes to School grant to introduce the 16 elementary schools and eight middle schools in District 51 to the program. A previous grant was awarded to Grand Valley Bikes, a local non-profit, for their work from 2013-2015. The RTPO was again awarded a Safe Routes to School grant in 2021 to expand upon previous efforts and make the program interactive and more accessible to parents and students.
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