How would you encourage Calgary’s children (and their parents) to choose active modes of transportation for travel to and from school?
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 93% of children in Canada are not meeting recommended levels of physical activity. Encouraging students and parents to walk or bike to schools not only benefits them physically, but it is also better for the environment and encourages a greater sense of community as they meet others along the way. There are some schools that have great initiatives, such as “walking school buses” that should be highlighted and shared with other schools. We need to identify and celebrate successes so that others can learn from them and adapt them to their own school communities.
How would you work with parents and the City to provide safe routes to walk and bike to Calgary’s schools, including traffic safety measures in the vicinity of the schools themselves?
I believe that each school is already required to have a traffic safety plan, which is a good first step. However, I do think that these should be posted on each school’s website and provided to the local community association for input. Traffic is a huge concern with many schools, especially K-4 elementary schools that do not have crossing guards, and both parents and students need to be aware of how best to minimize risks around schools. Unfortunately, there are some people who disregard all traffic safety notices, and it is sometimes necessary for officers to occasionally be in the area before and after school to reinforce the importance of following safe driving (and even walking!) practices.