Walk or Biking to School is an option to consider on almost any day, but Safe Routes to School event days are extra special!
On October7, join students and families across the globe for International Walk and Bike to School Day, Students and families across the commonwealth and beyond will walk and roll to school to practice safe pedestrian habits and reduce their environmental impacts. See new illustrative walking/rolling maps along with trails at the bottom of this page! Students and families are encouraged to Walk and Bike to School on these event days, or any other day. Consider following one of the routes:
The Middlesex Community College Overflow Lot connects to the Bike Trail and is a great drop off point for those who want a short (10 min) walk or quick bike ride to Lane but cannot walk/bike from their neighborhood! This is a great alternative to ease congestion (and stress) on the Lane campus!
How Should My Child Get to and From School?
BICYCLE OR WALK
WHY? It promotes physical activity and reduces traffic congestion around schools.
- Students who walk or bike to school are more alert and ready to learn.
- Walking or biking with parents or classmates helps kids learn independence andvaluable safety lessons.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a minimum of one hour a day of physical activity for school-age children. Plus walking or biking to school with a parent fosters communication. You and your kids will love it!
View Short Pedestrian Safety Videos customized by age here
View Bicycle Safety Information by the National Highway Traffic Safety Information
RIDE THE SCHOOL BUS
WHY? It can save you time and resources. Fewer cars on the road is better for all of us.
- Research says school buses are safer than cars.
- There is no fee for bus service in Bedford.
DRIVE, BUT ONLY IF YOU MUST
WHY? Traffic congestion around our schools is dangerous for students.
- Competition for parking creates unsafe situations, especially in inclement weather.
- Emergency vehicles must have prompt access to our schools.
- Most school related accidents are in parking areas during drop off and pickup time.
- Idling cars contribute emissions, reducing air quality around schools.
- If you must drive, consider carpooling with other neighborhood kids, and or picking a location a few blocks form school to pick up and drop off. Even a 5-minute walk will be good for your child and your school.
Massachusetts Safe Routes to School's mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities. Bedford has been participating since 2008, and has won 3 awards: Community Collaboration, Program Innovation, and Silver Level!
In 1969, roughly 48% of students bicycled or walked to school. Today only 13% of children do so. And, travel to school can account for up to 25% of all morning traffic.
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program promotes healthy alternatives for children and parents in their travel to and from school. It educates students, parents and community members on the value of walking and bicycling for travel to and from school. That's why Bedford has signed on to the SRTS program: to teach and inspire children to start walking and bicycling more often—to and from school, improving their physical health, safety, and community. All three eligible schools: Davis, Lane and JGMS are SRTS partners.
Bicycling is a good way for a child to not only get to school but to get around Bedford. Make sure your child always wears a bike helmet if riding a bike, and teach him or her how to fasten it securely under the chin. It is the law in Massachusetts for children age 12 and under to wear a helmet while bicycling – and a good idea for a bicycle rider of any age. Remind your child that getting off a bike and walking it across a busy street may sometimes be the safest way to cross to the other side. The crossing guard can provide assistance once they are closer to school. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a video on basic bicycle safety if you need help getting started.
If you must drive, consider carpooling with other neighborhood kids, and or picking a location a few blocks from school to pick up and drop off. Even a 5-minute walk will be good for your child and your school. Remote drop off and pick up points are used selectively around all the schools, especially for the organized International and Massachusetts SRTS Walk/Ride to School events.
Colorado Schools put together a video that gives suggestions and guidelines for how to implement a walking school bus where there are no sidewalks in the residential areas. Watch here.
Walking and biking to school route ideas: Davis, Lane and JGMS School Sidewalks and Trails: Click here to view maps