Children need safe places to walk and bike, including their route to school. Heavy traffic, lighting, litter and other issues can deter students and their families from making the hike to or from school. Recently, more than 20 community leaders, Omaha Police Department, ONE Omaha, school administration, and neighborhood leaders walked together through Holy Name, All Saints and Sacred Heart neighborhoods to understand the barriers that students face on their way to and from school.
By implementing a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, students are encouraged to take active forms of transportation to school and increase their daily physical activity, helping them to be healthier and ready to learn. SRTS is an evidence-based policy change effective at increasing rates of bicycling and walking to school and decreasing injuries.
Live Well Omaha Kids teamed up with CUES to bring Safe Routes to School to All Saints School, Holy Name School, and Sacred Heart School. SRTS is provided free of charge through Live Well Omaha Kids thanks to a Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grant from Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Over 500 students will be positively impacted by this program!
Walk audits for these schools took place during the month of March. Each building has formed a School Advisory Council which has gathered pre-assessments, including student travel tallies and parent surveys about walking and biking to school. At the walk audit, school and community members will work collaboratively to identify and prioritize neighborhood factors that support or inhibit active commuting.
Click on the thumbnails below to check out some photos from our walk audits. These moments were captured by photographer Cristian Mendo of Apricity Photo. See coverage about the walk audits in the Omaha World Herald.
In addition to CUES schools and the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, many individuals and groups were crucial to making these walk audits a success including:
- City of Omaha Planning Department
- City of Omaha Public Works
- Dahlman Neighborhood Association
- South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
- Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA)
- Neighborhood Action & Fact
- Omaha Police Department
- Staff of Mayor Stothert