Promote road improvements via BOS:311

  • Safe Routes to School Boston recognizes that not all routes meet the same standards for walkability. Advocating for improvements in the physical environment surrounding schools can increase students’ ability to walk and bike to and from school safely and easily. There are many reasons to choose to walk, and several barriers as well. Improving the conditions of our streets and sidewalks is one way that the Safe Routes to School program enables people to choose active transportation options. This takes commitment and investments over time, but the end results are worth it.

    Citizens of Boston have the privilege of reporting infrastructure problems using the City of Boston’s 311 service. This service allows people to identify environmental issues such as damaged sidewalks, faded crosswalks, poor walking signals or signs, or debris on walkways, and report them to the City to be resolved. It is important for many voices to be heard, so share information about this service to staff, families, and neighborhood groups. It is especially critical to report issues near a school as these receive priority attention by the City.

    When the physical environment is appealing for students and families to walk or bike, they are more likely to choose this option. When cross signals work and allow ample time for children to cross a road, that crossing path becomes safer for all to walk on. This results in an increase in the overall wellbeing, safety and mobility of school age children. As more people choose active transportation - to work, to school, to the store, to the park - then all commuters feel a sense of community.      

    Action Step: Promote 311

    Place the following blurb in your school’s parent handbook or website about the importance using 311 to report physical environment issues affecting the walkability of the area surrounding the school.   

    YOU can HELP FIX problems with the sidewalks or roadways leading up to our school!

    Simply use the BOS:311 app - download for free on your mobile device, log onto, or call 311 to report broken sidewalks, faded crosswalks, broken walk buttons on street lights, or other concerns that impact your child’s ability to walk or bike to school.

    Remember to say “This problem is near a school that is part of the Safe Routes to School program” so that it will be prioritized for repair!