The internet has been buzzing about some great Safe Routes to School and walking and bicycling research. Here are a few resources and a quick synopsis of interesting facts.
Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School Webinar
This is a recent webinar by the National Partnership. You can access the presentations and recordings at the link above. Some of the major takeaways:
- Property values have increased due to trails in Indianapolis, Austin and Dallas.
- Trains rank second among 18 community amenities in a 2002 home buyer survey.
- A 5 to 10 mph reduction in traffic speeds increased adjacent residential property values by about 20 percent.
- The cost of hospitalization, emergency room visits and treatment for children’s bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and injuries is 4.5 times what the federal government current spends each year on the Safe Routes to School program.
- Using Safe Routes to School to eliminate hazard busing (busing students close enough to walk but environmental barriers make it unsafe) could save $1 billion/year.
Moving Forward: Safe Routes to School Progress in Five States
This report includes five states and 569 Safe Routes to School projects funded through April 2011. These projects reached more than 1,410 schools and 781,180 children—roughly 10 percent of the PK-8 grade public school population in the five states.
Among completed SRTS projects with before and after travel data:
- Rates of walking increased by 45 percent (from 9.8 percent to 14 percent)
- Rates of bicycling increased by 24 percent (from 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent)
- All active travel to school increased by 37 percent (from 12.9 percent to 17.6 percent)
This report compares data on adult walking from 2005 to 2010.
- The percentage of people who report walking at least once for 10 minutes or more the previous week rose 6 percent.
- Adults achieving the recommended amount of physical activity increased from 42.1 percent to 48 percent.
Evidence based strategies to increase physical activity include creating more places for physical activity with information and outreach that lets people know about the places and considering walkability in the community. The CDC also recommends Safe Routes to School programs to encourage both children and adults to walk.