Remember the good old days when most kids walked to elementary and middle school (or, junior high)? When I was a kid, it didn’t matter if there was a sidewalk or not along the school route, or that you lived a mile away from the school. Most of us happily walked home. It meant more time outside for play and exercise, and a chance to explore the neighborhood with friends.
Today, it seems that more Northern Virginia kids ride buses than walk to school because of challenging traffic patterns, congestion on the roads and poor, or non-existent walking routes. In some NoVa communities, you can see buses dropping kids off house-by-house along the same street because the road is too busy and/or lacks a sidewalk for kids to travel safely. I recently learned about a program operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation that seeks to get our kids off the bus and on their feet as they travel to and from school. It’s called the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS).
“The SRTS Program utilizes federal funds to support community SRTS programs and projects that are designed to increase the number of children in kindergarten through eighth grade that walk and bike safely to school.” ~ VDOT website
The local 2012 recipients of SRTS money include school communities in these Northern Virginia locations:
City of Alexandria
City of Manassas Park
Town of Vienna
See the list of the schools in these communities that are slated for improvements.
I’m so glad that NoVa residents will benefit from this healthy and eco-friendly program that will (according to the SRTS site):