PHILADELPHIA – Joined by City officials, members of the School District of Philadelphia and community partners, Mayor Jim Kenney today announced the launch of Safe Routes Philly, the City’s transportation safety education program.
In Philadelphia, where a majority of students walk, bike, or take public transit to school, safe transportation skills are essential to kids’ health and wellbeing.
“As more Philadelphia schools begin to safely reopen for in-person learning for PreK-2 students whose families chose hybrid learning, it is more important than ever to ensure our students can travel to school safely, free from traffic violence,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Safe Routes Philly provides critical educational resources for young people to gain the knowledge and skills they need to travel safely.”
Safe Routes Philly provides transportation safety curriculum and resources for educators, children, and families. Resources include adaptable activities for students learning at home or during out of school time. These include transportation games, age-appropriate book recommendations, and tips for parents and caregivers who are teaching kids how to walk, bike, or ride safely.
“I appreciate the work and partnership of the City and School District of Philadelphia, along with community stakeholders, to prioritize and design safe routes to school in communities where the need is greatest,” said Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez. “Especially where we face ongoing public safety challenges, these investments can help ensure that each school day begins safely and children arrive at school ready to learn.”
The launch of Safe Routes Philly comes at a time when young Philadelphians have increasing mobility needs.
“Ensuring that our children are able to safely commute to school is among our top priorities and the Safe Routes Philly program will go a long way in helping to support our families within the Cramp School community and in neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia,” said School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. “As always, we value the working relationship we have with the City and look forward to yet another opportunity to join the City in order to create opportunities that will improve the quality of life for our children, their families and school communities.”
Safe Routes Philly supports Philadelphia children, families, and schools by improving safe walking and bicycle safety habits, increasing attendance rates, improving physical and socio-emotional health outcomes, and supporting existing school health and safety programs. Building off of the national Safe Routes to School movement, Safe Routes Philly is specifically designed for Philadelphia students.
“Safe Routes Philly is a wonderful, much needed and critically important program that effectively supports keeping our students and families safe,” said William Cramp School Principal Deanda Logan. “By teaching our students safe streets skills and actively talking and engaging with families about traffic safety, we can significantly improve the health and safety of our entire community.”
Safe Routes Philly is also a part of Vision Zero – a goal established by Mayor Kenney in 2017 to end traffic deaths by 2030. City staff have spent the last two years developing new curriculum and educational tools based on input from teachers and young peoples’ communities. Plans to implement the program across Philadelphia neighborhoods are already underway.
“The City is committed to expanding Safe Routes Philly to 25% of district-run Philadelphia schools by 2025. We will prioritize school locations in proximity to the High Injury Network with high rates of pedestrian crashes involving youth,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll. “To reach this goal, Safe Routes Philly staff will provide technical assistance to 12 schools each year to support the implementation of transportation safety education.”
The City is committed to creating safer streets for children, who are Philadelphia’s future. Safe Routes Philly provides educational resources for young people to gain knowledge and skills they need to travel safely, and provides children and young adults leadership opportunities to have conversations with the adults in their lives.
“At APM, we believe that it is essential to invest in our youth for the long-term health and success of our communities, and this includes getting them to and from resources in the neighborhood safely,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha Nilda Ruiz. “We are thrilled that the Safe Routes Philly program will provide yet another Vision Zero resource that will increase safety for our children and youth.”
Safe Routes Philly is a free, public program available to all schools, communities, and families in Philadelphia. Visit phila.gov/safe-routes-philly for lesson plans, activities, and resources or contact SafeRoutesPhilly@phila.gov for more information.
About Safe Routes Philly. As part of Philadelphia’s Vision Zero strategy, Safe Routes Philly is the City’s transportation safety education program available to schools and communities across Philadelphia. Safe Routes Philly is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, including the Community Traffic Safety Program and the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program. To learn more, visit www.phila.gov/safe-routes-philly.
About Vision Zero. On November 7, 2016, Mayor James F. Kenney signed Executive Order 11-16, committing to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2030. Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, while increasing safety, health, and mobility for all. To learn more, visit www.VisionZeroPHL.com.
The Vision Zero Task Force is composed of City agencies, external partners like PennDOT and SEPTA, as well as community-based organizations including the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), Families for Safe Streets, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc.(APM), People’s Emergency Center (PEC), and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP).