Evaluate Walking Routes and create maps
Creation of a well-developed walking route involves a thorough evaluation of potential walking routes based on where students live within the BPS walk zone (which is a 1 mile radius from an elementary school or 1.5 mile radius from a middle school).
These routes consider neighborhood challenges such as high traffic areas, streets that lack sidewalks or contain busy intersections, or other safety concerns. Designated routes consider beneficial and popular paths for travel. Once a preferred route is identified and approved, it may be developed into a walking map. A walking map is an effective tool for informing families about the most convenient, accessible, and populated route for walking or biking to school. Highlighting a preferred route provides students and families with an option to walk with other families who take the same path to and from school. Walking in groups creates a safer environment, and builds family engagement.
Use these steps to evaluate your school neighborhood and develop a plan of action for supporting active travel. Once you have walking routes identified, share them with your school community, community officer, and/or local police department to raise awareness of popular travel routes.
Resources for Evaluating Travel Routes
BPS Evaluation of Walking Routes: How to Assess Walking Environments and Create Walk Routes – this 2-page document outlines the basic steps for evaluating and developing preferred walking routes for your school.
Walkability Checklist – this simple tool enables school groups, or parent/child pairs, to think about what would make for a safe and pleasant walking route, and what they can do to make improvements.
Step by Step to Creating a Walking School Bus at Your School – this document from the California Department of Public Health describes how to identify walking routes and recruit adults to supervise students on their way to school.