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Safe Routes to School State Network Project: 2008 Annual Progress Report: Building momentum and policy change by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

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Abstract:

In May 2007, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership launched a three-year Safe Routes to School (SRTS) State Network Project to leverage resources in nine states and the District of Columbia to make it safer and easier for children to obtain healthy physical activity through walking and bicycling to schools. This report summarizes the progress that the State Network Project has achieved in its second year of operation, outlines lessons learned, highlights accomplishments in each State Network and suggests next steps to maintain the momentum necessary to build the SRTS program at state levels.

Safe Routes to School is a growing movement to get more children walking and bicycling to school, and to make it safer and more convenient to do so. Programs combine the 5Es of SRTS—evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering and enforcement—and are typically led by parents, teachers, students, elected officials, government agencies and community members. Benefits of SRTS programs can include reduced traffic congestion; improved safety, air quality and community livability; and improved health, which is an important consideration now that nearly one-third of U.S. children and youth are
considered obese or overweight.