Ever thought about why kids don’t walk to school anymore? Or even ride a bike to school? Is it because we spoil them? They have become lazy? Too busy to take a walk to school? Well the surprising reality is that researchers have found that concerns about safety are the main reason that less than 13 percent of U.S. children walked or biked to school in 2004, compared to more than 50 percent who did so in 1969. These concerns are also strongly linked to the kind of physical environment children navigate between home and school.
Using Geographic Information System (GIS) data combined with a survey of 186 parents of 5th through 8th grade students, it was found that parents were most concerned about the speed and volume of traffic students would encounter en route to school; the possibility of crime; and the weather. Many parents felt that it may be too cold, or the bike lanes don’t seem safe enough. It was discovered that environment plays a big role on whether or not a parent allows their child to walk to school.
For more information on this study, please read the full article here.
Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC