In 2005 Congress passed legislation establishing the Safe Routes to School program (SRTS). Since then, nearly all states and the District of Columbia have announced local or statewide SRTS activities, and thousands of schools have participated in the program.
SRTS enables and encourages children to walk and bike to school by helping communities reduce traffic congestion and improve neighborhood safety and air quality. SRTS is also helping to address the epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity by increasing children’s daily physical activity levels. The program is an especially important intervention for low-income communities and communities of color, which are more likely to suffer from disproportionately high rates of childhood overweight and obesity, and to have experienced a history of disinvestment in the built environment.
This case study examines the implementation process and results of a Safe Routes to School program at Maybury Elementary, a public school serving a low-income, largely Latino community in Detroit.