Since starting in 2013, the Toledo Safe Routes to School Program has continued to improve walking and biking for students. The program, for example, has worked with partners on projects for 40 Toledo Public Schools K-8 buildings, such as making upgrades to street crossings and sidewalks.
This year, the Toledo Safe Routes to School Program – an initiative of the Live Well Greater Toledo coalition – is working with Washington Local Schools on a travel plan, the first step toward improving walking and biking for students. Travel plans also have been done for Sylvania and Oregon school systems, and the plan for Toledo Public Schools (TPS) recently was updated as needs to be done every five years, said Jenny Hansen, Toledo Safe Routes to School coordinator.
“We just update it,” she said of the TPS plan, which identifies opportunities for additional improvements. “We don’t plan on stopping.”
Live Well is expanding Safe Routes to School as part of the 2018-2021 Lucas County Community Health Improvement Plan. The program works to reduce youth and child obesity, as well as address health disparities, as part of the plan’s chronic disease/obesity priority.
TPS buildings have various Safe Routes to School programs. A couple of schools have walking bus programs, where adult volunteers lead a group of students to and from the building. And about 10 schools have mileage clubs, which vary but often include walking laps in the building’s gym before classes start.
Live Well Greater Toledo also fixes bicycles, teaches students about biking safety, celebrates national walking and biking days, and does other events as part of efforts to keep students safe while increasing their physical activity.
This infographic takes a look at obesity in Lucas County. Click on the infographic for a downloadable PDF.