The two most common forms of active transportation are walking and biking, but any form of human-powered movement could be considered an active mode. Active transportation options are a great way for kids to get exercise on their way to school and experience their community in a new way.
Walking is a great way to get to school for families who live within a reasonable distance (elementary school students may walk a mile to school, while middle or high school students may be further away). For families who live too far from school or who are unable to walk for other reasons, other options for incorporating walking into the daily routine include participating in a park and walk program, combining walking and transit, or walking around the school property.
It’s important to educate families about how to walk safely, even at schools where few students are able to walk, as students are likely to walk around their homes, to the park, or for other trips.
Use crosswalks. Identify the safest route to school.
Be alert. Avoid texting or wearing headphones while crossing streets.
Be seen. Wear light or brightly-colored clothing or reflective materials and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
Biking is a fun and healthy way for many families to get to school and then on to work quickly and with more quality time together. Middle and high school students may be ready to ride to and from school on their own, while adults should accompany younger students and those riding in areas without good bike routes.
There are several tools and resources to help you encourage safe family biking in your community.
Walking and Biking Resources
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Bicycle Safety Guide
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Family Biking Guide
The San Mateo County Office of Education's Walk + Roll Booklet