Ballwin launches Safe Routes to School program
In an effort to encourage and enable Ballwin’s children to walk and bike to school, the Ballwin Police Department on Feb. 6 launched its Safe Routes to School program.
The program will run through the end of the school year. The Federal grant program was designed to target all the schools on New Ballwin Road as well as Ballwin Elementary School. The enforcement will take place in the school zone area as well as the surrounding neighborhoods and areas where children will be walking and biking to the schools.
“We look forward to encouraging more area students to walk or bike to school by ensuring their safety along those routes” Chief Steve Schicker said.
Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years, while the number of children walking and biking to school has declined. According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey, less than 16 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walked or biked to or from school, compared to 42 percent in 1969.
Through the 2005 passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Congress designated a total of $612 million toward developing the National Safe Routes to School Program.