Celebrating the 20th Walk to School Day
This morning, tens of thousands of children, families, and school and community leaders laced up their sneakers and walked to school in celebration of the 20th Walk to School Day.
It’s a fun way to promote active and safe transportation to schools and destinations throughout communities. And it’s more than that: these improvements benefit people of all ages and abilities.
Many communities are finding that starting their efforts focused on safety for children can help build the support needed in order to make bigger changes, including implementing Vision Zero plans to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Those are some of the key goals of USDOT’s Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets.
We’ve been working with the Department and local officials nationwide to encourage mayors to join Walk to School events and talk about their community’s commitment to child and youth pedestrian safety.
As a former mayor himself, Secretary Foxx knows well that city leaders have been an important part of the 50,000 Walk to School Day events held since the initiative began.
In fact, at the first Walk to School Day in 1997, it was two mayors – Chicago’s Richard Daley and Los Angeles’ Richard Riordan – who led the first events.
Today, NHTSA Deputy Administrator Terry Shelton joined community leaders and residents on behalf of USDOT at a kickoff event in Washington, DC’s historic Lincoln Park.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, representatives from the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the FIA Foundation, the Capitol Hill Public School Parents Organization, the District Department of Transportation, and many other special guests joined energetic Walk to School Day participants from local elementary, middle and high schools as they headed to school.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser with students on Walk to School Day 2016.
“Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety for kids can benefit people of all ages, abilities, and resources,” said Secretary Foxx. “We are proud to support Walk to School Day and help communities as they work to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries.”
Thank you to Secretary Foxx, Mayor Bowser, and many other officials’ commitment to prioritizing the safety of our children and youth.
And thank you to the parents, schools and supporters who are creating great opportunities for elected officials to appreciate the impact and the fun of Walk to School Day today and every October.
We’ve come a long way in 20 years, and we look forward to many more.