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Colorado Schools Encouraged to Celebrate International Walk to School Day as First Step in Creating Safe Routes to School Program

September 21, 2011 - Statewide Transportation Plan - DENVER - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is welcoming schools to participate in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, as part of Colorado Pedestrian Month.

Communities around the U.S. have been celebrating Walk to School Day since 1997. Around the globe, International Walk to School Month brings together more than 40 countries in recognition of the common interest in walking to school.

Participation in Walk to School events gives schools a chance to increase the number of children walking safely to school, thus promoting the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.  Participation in Walk to School Day 2010 reached a record high with more than 3,500 events registered from all fifty states, the District of Columbia and, for the first time, Puerto Rico. Many more communities held events but did not register.

Schools are encouraged to register their 2011 event at www.walktoschool.org. This website may also be accessed to view and get information on the Walk to School events occurring across Colorado.

Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion, and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.

"Walking and bicycling to school enhances the health of kids, improves air quality and helps the environment," says CDOT Safe Routes to School Program Manager Marissa Robinson. "Walk to School events are aimed at bringing forth permanent change to encourage a more pedestrian-friendly Colorado, one community at a time.”

CDOT is now accepting funding requests for the 2012 SRTS program. SRTS includes both education and improved infrastructure to make local routes safer for children to walk or bike to school. Successful programs involve the whole community and encompass evaluation, encouragement, education, enforcement, and engineering.

To date, nearly $12 million has been distributed to Colorado communities to help more children bike and walk to school through the SRTS program. The program is 100 percent federally-funded and managed by CDOT.

For additional information, please contact Marissa Robinson at (303) 757-9088 or e-mail at [email protected]

You can also visit these Web sites:

CDOT Safe Routes to School Program:      www.coloradodot.info/programs/bikeped

International Walk to School in the USA:     www.walktoschool.org

National Center for Safe Routes to School:   www.saferoutesinfo.org

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal