About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking or riding public transit.
School policies can help lay the foundation for living an active, safe and healthy lifestyle—at the school, school district and community level. Active Transportation Alliance can provide technical assistance to schools on a variety of topics and can advocate for policy changes that promote walkable and bikeable schools.
Contact [email protected] for more information on the following policy topics:
Learn what impact a school’s location can have on a neighborhood and what you can do about it. In the early and mid-parts of the century, schools were designed as centers of the community and in were built in places that encouraged more students to walk and bike. Over the past 50 years, unfortunately, state and local policies have changed to favor more distant, less walkable schools. Active Transportation Alliance staff can help you create a walkable and bikeable school by updating your school district’s school siting policy.
School Travel Plans
Partner with school administrators, municipal planners, police officers and parents to assess barriers to walking and bicycling to school and identify solutions. School travel plans are the first step in the process of applying for a federal Safe Routes to School grant.
School Wellness Policy
Update your wellness policy to include the trip to and from school. Federal and Illinois law require all school districts that participate in federal nutrition programs to establish and adopt wellness policies. Typically, wellness policies include strategies for addressing nutrition and physical activity during the school day, but they can be extended to include opportunities to educate and encourage students to use active transportation.
Joint Use Agreements
Help make schools into centers of activity during non-school hours with this formalized agreement to share use of a space. Joint Use Agreements strengthen school and community connections and encourage increased physical activity in the area. Active Transportation Alliance helps to educate schools, cities and private organizations about the process of creating these smart partnerships.
Join this national movement to create Complete Streets, which are streets that are accessible to all users, regardless of age or ability. Communities with Complete Streets are more likely to have schools that are walking- and bicycling-friendly.
Schools Changing Transportation: Local Leaders Guide
Be an advocate on behalf school policies, (WILL NEED NEW LINK) programs and infrastructure that will increase student and employee walking, biking and transit options. This step-by-step guide (PDF) helps school boards, local school councils and parent groups identify obstacles to active transportation and determine solutions. The guide covers topics like implementation options, funding opportunities and outreach tools. Active Transportation Alliance staff may be available to provide support with your work.