PHILADELPHIA – Dozens of Philadelphia elementary school students, families, and school staff kicked off the 2023 Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day today. Participants walked, biked, and roller skated in groups to Henry H. Houston School in Mount Airy.
“Students who bike, walk, or roller skate to school are developing healthy habits that can lead to academic success,” said LeRoy Hall, Jr., M.Ed., Principal of Henry H. Houston School. “We also know that being active in general helps students build self-esteem and improve their overall well-being.”
Safe Routes Philly, the City’s youth bicycle and pedestrian safety program, and part of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), organized the event. Walk, Bike & Roll to School Day is hosted by the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
“Our strong turnout for Bike and Roll to School Day shows Philadelphia’s growing momentum for school transportation safety,” said Peter DeCarolis, Coordinator, Safe Routes Philly. “Biking, walking, and rolling to school is a safer and more active way to get to school than driving.”
The City is making school streets safer by installing School Slow Zones at Cramp Elementary School in Fairhill, and Overbrook Educational Center in Overbrook Park. School Slow Zones have speed cushions, speed tables, corner bump outs, and turning wedges to reduce traffic speeds.
“Initiatives like these, combined with School Slow Zones, help provide safer routes to school and reduce traffic during arrival and dismissal,” said Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D., Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia. “Supporting students’ social emotional well-being is one of my top priorities as I continue to develop our five-year strategic plan, and events like today support that by providing opportunities for students to interact with their peers and live healthier lives.”
City Council also recently unanimously passed a Student Pedestrian Safety bill introduced by Councilmember Anthony Phillips (9th District). The Student Pedestrian Safety Bill supports the Streets Department to swiftly install traffic-calming measures near all public, charter, and private schools.
The next Safe Routes Philly event will be Walk & Roll to School Day in October 2023.
For more information on Safe Routes Philly, visit phila.gov/programs/safe-routes-philly or visionzerophl.com. Teachers, administrators and parents can sign up to learn how to bring Safe Routes Philly programming to their school here.
Visuals: View photos from Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day 2023 at Henry H. Houston Elementary. Credit: Christopher Young, City of Philadelphia.