This year’s event is organized by Safe Routes Philly, the City’s youth bicycle and pedestrian safety program
PHILADELPHIA – More than 100 elementary school students, families, and school staff kicked off the 2023 Walk & Roll to School Day today. Participants walked and rolled in groups to Edward Gideon School, William H. Meredith Elementary School, and George W. Nebinger Elementary School.
“Walk and Roll to School Day helps Edward Gideon School to build a positive relationship with our students and the community,” said Dr. Shauneille Taylor, Principal, Edward Gideon School. “We will continue our ‘walking school bus’ every Wednesday during October and November to enhance our students’ performance and behavior.”
Safe Routes Philly, the City’s youth bicycle and pedestrian safety program, organized Walk and Roll to School day as the local edition of the nationwide trend. Safe Routes Philly is part of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS).
“Meredith Elementary School celebrates Walk and Roll to School Day as an extension of our highly popular Meredith Bikes to School program,” said Brian R. Wallace, Principal, William H. Meredith Elementary School. “As a caring community, Meredith participates in Walk and Roll to School Day to bring together faculty, students, families, and the community to celebrate active transportation.
All students who attended received participation stickers. Safe Routes Philly staff also handed out traffic safety educational materials and equipment.
“Walk and Roll to School Day is a great way for Nebinger Elementary School students to celebrate the benefits of walking and biking to school,” said Ayana Townsend, Principal of George W. Nebinger Elementary School. “Our participants can learn about safe transportation skills, reduce traffic congestion, and spend quality time together.”
Since 1997, the National Center for Safe Routes to School has coordinated nationwide events for Walk & Roll to School Day. More than 2,000 schools in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are participating.
“Walk to School Day 2023 saw an impressive number of students, families, and staff participate,” said Peter DeCarolis, Coordinator, Safe Routes Philly. “More Philadelphia schools are supporting traffic safety on their surrounding streets. Walking and rolling is simply a fun way to get to and from school. By choosing this way to travel we are enhancing student performance, building school community, and supporting environmental sustainability.”
Safe Routes Philly partnered with the Meredith School Principal’s Office and Home and School Association, the Nebinger School Principal’s Office and Parent Teacher Association, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Queen Village Neighborhood Association.
Following the Student Pedestrian Safety Bill, the Streets Department has installed speed cushions at 50 schools in time for the school year. The Streets Department will continue installing speed cushions citywide until every school has received traffic calming improvements, contingent on City Council authorizing more funding.
The City also recently announced a $25 million RAISE Grant for six North Philadelphia school slow zones. These will build on the success of school slow zones at Cramp Elementary School in Fairhill and Overbrook Educational Center in Overbrook Park.
National Bike & Roll to School Day will be occurring in May 2024. For more information and to contact 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 at http://bit.ly/SafeRoutesPhilly.
Visuals: View photos from Walk and Roll to School Day 2023 at William H. Meredith and George W. Nebinger, and Edward Gideon Schools. Credit: Christopher Young and Stephanie Ridgeway, City of Philadelphia.