What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School is a program aimed at making walking and biking to school safer for students. Most often this is in the form of a Walking School Bus (WSB) where teachers and other adult volunteers accompany children walking to or from school resulting in healthier students and a safe environment. It also helps reduce traffic surrounding schools, leads to better academic performance, and can reduce student absences and tardiness.
We have worked with several schools across Knox County to start walking programs and create safer spaces for students to walk and bike to school. We have worked with Dogwood, Bearden and West Hills Elementary schools as well as Green Magnet Math & Science Academy to start Walking School Bus programs. They have all offered different versions of walking programs in the past for students either walking to or from school to a designated pick-up location or offering morning walks around the school campus for early arrivers. These programs were made possible by school staff, parents, and neighborhood volunteers who wanted to help students be more active in a safe environment.
We have also worked with city and county engineering to help improve walking infrastructure around Dogwood Elementary and Brickey-McCloud Elementary.
Would you like to start a walking program at your child’s school? We'd love to meet and talk about what would work for your school!
For more information, please reach out to Lindsey Kimble at [email protected]!
SRTS in Knox County
Bike Walk Knoxville is a member of the Knox County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Partnership which works to promote safe walking and biking to schools throughout Knox County. The partnership brings together engineers, school employees, community members, nonprofits, government partners and more.
The Knox County Health Department has worked with some schools to start WSB programs including West View Elementary, Beaumont Magnet Academy, Belle Morris Elementary, and Christenberry Elementary.
Safe Routes to School is not just a great thing happening in Knox County. It actually is a national movement led by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, which provides resources and expertise to communities wanting to make walking and biking to school safer.
One part of this is National Bike to School Day, which occurs each year on the first Wednesday in May, and National Walk to School Day, which occurs each year on the first Wednesday in October!
Save the date - National Bike to School Day will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022!
In 2021, we had a blast riding to school with students and families from South Knoxville Elementary School and Sequoyah Elementary School! Remember, any day is a great day to ride your bike to school!