Written by Tara Woody, Safe Routes Philly Coordinator. 

As students begin to return to school buildings and the weather begins to turn, it is more important than ever to ensure our students can travel safely to school from traffic crashes. 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. 

Introducing a new and improved Safe Routes Philly program 

Working with the School District of Philadelphia, the City’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) expanded and improved Safe Routes Philly, Philadelphia’s transportation safety education program that provides training, resources, and support to Philadelphia schools.  Since 2010, Safe Routes Philly has reached thousands of students, educators, and caregivers across Philadelphia schools.  

Safe Routes Philly is part of Vision Zero: the City’s initiative to end traffic deaths by 2030. 

See what’s new 

In 2019 and 2020, the Safe Routes Philly team spoke with students, parents, administrators, and community stakeholders across Philadelphia. Through these conversations, we found new ways to expand transportation safety education in the classroom and beyond the classroom. Safe Routes Philly has transportation safety education resources for educators, families, and communities.  

For Educators 

New educator resources include:  

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety lesson plans for elementary school students 
  • Traffic safety lessons for high school students 
  • A new traffic safety guide for pre-K educators
  • Links to transportation-themed STEM lessons (Grades Pre-K to 12)

All lessons meet learning standards set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Lessons are accessible for both classroom and remote learning. 

For Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members 

Children learn safe streets behaviors from adults; adults are role models for kids. Parents and caregivers play an important role in traffic safety. New Safe Routes Philly resources to support families and communities include: 

  • A new Safe Routes Philly Activity Book
  • Parent/caregiver tip sheets for practicing walking and riding at home 
  • Transportation-themed games
  • Other resources, such as how to start walking school busses and ideas for Walk and Bike to School Day 

The Safe Routes Philly activity book is available in Spanish, and the parent/caregiver tip-sheets are available in both Spanish and Simplified Chinese.  More resources in multiple languages will be added this year.

It’s never too early to start thinking about transportation safety education.  Safe Routes Philly has resources for everyone!