Looking forward to 2015-16 with Safe Routes to Schools

Belmont Safe Routes to Schools Community Working Group is looking forward to full year of healthy and safe activities. With representatives from all the elementary schools and the middle school, these parents meet regularly with town department representatives from Community Development, Belmont Police,  Town Administration, and School Committee, and with our regional SRTS coordinator, Melissa Green.

Safe Routes to Schools is an organization of the Department of Transportation. They foster improved walking and cycling transportation to school-aged children through education, awareness, research and community organizing. They also provide competitive infrastructure grants. Wellington Elementary School received an infrastructure assessment grant in the 2014 grant application cycle. We look forward to seeing what the MassDOT team does in conjunction with Community Development to increase the safety and use of pedestrian infrastructure serving Wellington, and nearby schools.

Safe Routes to Schools MA (logo)This year we look forward to the town Bike Rodeo and to the Crosswalk Flag Pilot program. Each school participates in Safe Routes to Schools programming to the degree with which they are able and interested. Most schools participate in National Walk to School Day every October and Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School day during National Bike Week every May.

The Safe Routes to Schools Community Working Group works to identify best practices and potential improvements that foster safe walking and cycling to and from schools. While SRTS is a school-focused program, its goals can only be reached with broad community support and in turn, the broader community may benefit. Studies show that schools with active SRTS program, have an significant increase in walking and biking participation over non-participating schools.

Belmont Safe Routes to Schools Community Working Group is led by Kate Bowen, Chair Sustainable Belmont and Butler parent and Melissa Green, SRTS Regional Coordinator. Please contact Kate at sustainablebelmont@gmail.com for more information.