In 1970, more than 50% of all children walked to school. Walking or biking to school allowed children the ability to get to know their neighborhood and their neighbors, while also giving them a taste of responsibility and freedom. Today, only about 15% of kids walk or bike to school. Consequences of this shift include more traffic congestion around schools, more motor vehicle emissions polluting the environment, and a decline in the overall health and fitness of children. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs address all of these challenges.
SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, as well as reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, these programs help make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing transportation choices. This encourages a healthier and more active lifestyle from an early age while promoting social connections and responsibility.
In Citrus Heights, work is currently underway on a "walkability" assessment around all of the public elementary schools in the city. The city has already constructed SRTS projects around the following schools: