Steps to success

Steps to success: The Five E’s

To ensure a comprehensive, inclusive, and sustainable approach to getting students walking and cycling, active school travel programs succeed best when they address all of the Five E’s:

Education

Goal: foster the skills, confidence, and awareness to allow students to walk and wheel to school safely
Stakeholders: schools, school boards, police services, public health
Examples: traffic safety training, cycling skills workshops, school route mapping

Walking resources

Cycling resources

Examples of education-focused initiatives:

  • The Be Smart Walk Safe pedestrian safety campaign was developed as part of the Toronto STP program.
  • Project LifeCYCLE was a two-year initiative to provide students at seven Toronto elementary schools with the skills, equipment, confidence, and inspiration to cycle to school and for leisure.
  • The Ontario ECO Schools program includes an Active Transportation Campaign Kit to help schools achieve certification through active school travel initiatives.
  • Create a Routes to School Map of popular walking routes to help motivate families to choose active transportation. Maps can also identify suitable drop-off locations so that students who are driven can “walk-a-block-or-two.” Contact us for further information.
  • The Planet Protectors Academy’s Keep Cool Program is an engaging, curriculum-linked digital classroom resource that teaches elementary students about environmental issues. The program inspires students to become climate action superheroes and change their energy and transportation habits.
  • Clean Air for Kids is an innovative program developed in the City of Hamilton to educate elementary students about improving neighborhood air quality.
  • Making Tracks, developed in Nova Scotia, is a suite of training and resources to build student competence in active travel by foot, bike, scooter, skateboard, and rollerblade.

Encouragement

Goal: inspiring students, parents and school staff to try active travel modes
Stakeholders: school staff, school councils, school boards, elected officials, public health
Examples: walk and wheel events, walking school bus, iwalk iwheel club

Walk and Wheel events

School communities can promote walking and wheeling by participating in seasonal events that are celebrated by schools across Canada every year:

  • October: Walk to School Month
  • February: Winter Walk Day
  • April/May: Spring into Spring
  • May/June: Bike to School Week

Visit our Walk and Wheel events page for information and resources.

Walking School Bus

A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking together under the supervision of one or more leaders or “drivers,” following a prescribed route and schedule. Like a regular school bus, a Walking School Bus offers a safe, dependable, healthy, and green way for children to get to school instead of being driven by car.

Read more, including case studies, in Creating Safe Routes for Active School Transportation and in the Ottawa Walking School Bus Pilot Project Report.

For useful tips on setting-up a Walking School Bus see the Step-by-Step Guide published by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (USA).

iwalk-iwheel Club

The iwalk-iwheel Club is a free program for schools in Ontario. Membership includes access to news, information, and resources to track journeys. The iwalk-iwheel club is made possible thanks to a donation from the Canadian Automobile Association – South Central Ontario. To learn more and join, contact us.

Other resources:

Engineering

Goal: creating safe and accessible school sites, neighbourhoods and routes to school
Stakeholders: school staff, boards, municipalities
Examples: traffic and wayfinder signs, parking restrictions, crosswalk improvements, crossing guards

Resources

Enforcement

Goal: ensure traffic and parking rules are obeyed to improve safety at and around schools
Stakeholders: police services, municipal bylaw staff, school staff, boards
Examples: monitor speed, ticket traffic violations, supervise student drop-off locations

Resources

Evaluation

Goal: use data to design effective solutions, measure success, and demonstrate impact
Stakeholders: school boards, public health, ASRTS and STP Facilitators, municipalities
Examples: walking and cycling audit, school travel survey, traffic counts, family travel survey

Resources