Walk/Bike to School Day Activities Encourages Safer Routes for Biking and Walking in School Neighborhoods

YMCA of Greater Toledo Partners raising awareness for safe routes 
The Toledo Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, of Live Well Greater Toledo and the YMCA along with their partners including the Toledo Public School District (TPS), the City of Toledo Transportation Dept., Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and numerous other participating organizations will join students and families from Garfield Elementary, 1103 N. Ravine Pkwy., Toledo, OH   43605 on May 08, 2024 to raise the awareness of the need for safer routes for bicycling and walking to school.
Walk to School Day activities can better the health of students through physical activity, increase student attendance, better academic achievement, create community connectedness, and enhance the air quality around schools. Through a partnership between the Toledo Safe Routes to School program and the City of Toledo, routes most frequently used by students are being improved through infrastructure projects, such as; sidewalk installation, curb bump outs, pedestrian refuge islands, and countdown crosswalks.
On May 8, 2024, families with students from Garfield Elementary were encouraged to utilize a remote drop off location at a nearby park (see attached map). Parents of students who typically are bussed or driven to school can utilize the remote drop off as an alternative on this day. Adult volunteers from multiple organizations and the school district will walk the students to school along a route located on N. Ravine Pkwy. This event is supported by the ODOT Safe Routes to School program that provides funding for school districts to encourage students to walk or bike to school. These programs also allow students to practice pedestrian safety, get physical activity before school, reduce traffic congestion around schools, and create healthy habits to last a lifetime. Multiple schools throughout the district will be celebrating National Walk and Bike to School Day on May 8th .  
This program is being organized by the Toledo SRTS program, and made possible by funding provided through the ODOT Safe Routes to School Grant. The YMCA was awarded a two year rolling grant for $114,280.00 to continue SRTS education and encouragement programs in the TPS District and to update the current district School Travel Plan (STP) that will identify the infrastructure and non-infrastructure barriers students encounter daily that make it difficult to walk or bicycle to and from school safely and comfortably. The STP update will study the neighborhoods of all 41 K-8 elementary buildings and the high school buildings. The YMCA has been providing non-infrastructure programs such as walk and roll to school days, bicycle fix-it and safety days, walking school buses, and much more in the TPS district since 2014.   
 Available for interviews the day of the event
Jenny Hansen, YMCA of Greater Toledo, SRTS Coordinator 
Stephanie Bartlett, City of Toledo Transportation Dept.