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Did You Know?

A bicycle commuter who rides four miles to work, five days a week, avoids 2,000 miles of driving and about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

Walking to school just got a boost!

Walking and biking to school in northeast Illinois is about to get easier. Yesterday the Illinois Department of Transportation announced $13 million in Safe Routes to School grants around the state, with roughly $5.9 million going to the Chicago metro region.

From our Program Director Melody Geraci

Walking and biking to school in northeast Illinois is about to get easier. Yesterday the Illinois Department of Transportation announced $13 million in Safe Routes to School grants around the state, with roughly $5.9 million going to the Chicago metro region. The funds will be used in schools and communities both small and large to enable and encourage kids to walk and bike to school. You can check the entire list of funded projects on IDOT's webiste: www.dot.il.gov/saferoutes

A sampling of funded projects in the region includes:

  • new sidewalks around schools in Woodstock
  • teaching bike and ped safety to kids in South Chicago Heights
  • installing pedestrian refuge islands around Itasca schools
  • starting a walking school bus program in Elgin schools
  • TONS of amazing stuff in the City of Chicago!

What I love about Safe Routes is that the program really understands that changing a transportation culture requires strategies from many sectors. We can't just build a sidewalk and expect kids to magically start walking to school – they need education and encouragement. Likewise, many kids can't choose to walk or bike, even if they want to, because there isn't a safe place to do so. It's the whole enchilada, baby.

I'm also incredibly impressed with towns and schools around the region for stepping up and trying to make their communities more livable. Both City and suburbs are advancing the cause of safe, sustainble transportation to secure a healthier, greener future for kids.