School Travel Planning
Schools, families and communities are recognizing the importance of physical activity and the positive impact it has on learning and well-being. Studies show children who walk or cycle to school are healthier overall and arrive in the morning alert and ready to learn. Since 2009, the City of New Westminster has endorsed school travel planning and has been committed to building a safe, accessible, and healthy community.
The City of New Westminster has also partnered with British Columbia’s leading active and safe routes to school consultants Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe) and HUB: Your Cycling Connection to develop school travel plans in our community. .
What is a school travel plan?
The School Travel Plan is an engagement process which researches school travel habits to develop, facilitate and promote active travel alternatives in partnership with schools. All new schools are required to have a School Travel Plan and all existing elementary and middle schools will have a School Travel Plan by the end of 2016.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
- Be alert. If you are a driver, expect school zones to be busy and allow more time to travel through them. Watch for less safety-conscious drivers around schools!
- Parents, consider alternatives to driving your kids to school
- Walk or bike – Studies show that walking and biking to school give kids a big boost in alertness and readiness to learn once they are in class. They learn to be more street-wise, and walking and biking are fun, especially with friends!
- Carpool or walkpool with friends or neighbours – Share the responsibility of driving or walking all week by teaming up with friends or neighbours. It’s a great way to start the day and reduces congestion on the roads.
- Drop-off several blocks from school – Your kids will get a bit of valuable exercise and you're helping ease traffic congestion near the school.
- Have your older kids use transit – They will learn skills in time management and navigation, and get a big confidence boost from their new-found independence! Visit https://www.translink.ca/ to plan their route.
- Get involved. Consider joining other parents on the PAC at your child’s school, to help promote school zone safety, walking and road sense in your school community.
- General driving tips
- Don’t turn around in a driveway (or back onto a roadway for any reason!) – it’s dangerous for pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Don’t park or stop in disabled parking spaces.
- Obey posted speed limits (school zone speed limit is 30km/hr).
- Park thoughtfully, in legal designated spots and fully pulled up to the curb.
- Make even one less car trip to reduce greenhouse gas emissions