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Release date: 10/07/08
*** Press Release ***
Eileen Shields (DPH)
SAN FRANCISCO TO CELEBRATE WALK TO SCHOOL DAY
Annual global event highlights health and environmental benefits of safe pedestrian access to schools
San Francisco—Students from over 20 San Francisco schools will join the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) in celebrating Walk to School Day tomorrow, October 8. Walk to School Day is a collective walk with a purpose – to promote health, safety and concern for the environment.
Walk to School Day is an annual global event held in early October that gives children, parents, teachers, administrators and community members an opportunity to work together to make their communities safer and more pleasant for walking. Walk to School Day activities will be held throughout the month of October. The focus of these activities will be to reduce the confusion at school drop-off and pick-up zones, increase awareness of pedestrian safety and encourage more physically active, alert and healthy students.
“Teaching our young people about the health and environmental benefits of walking is crucial to the formation of good habits as adults,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“The SFMTA is committed to working with our schools to reach beyond the classroom to provide the safe pedestrian environments that encourage walking,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.
The Walk to School Day effort is sponsored in part by the SFMTA School Area Safety Program. The SFMTA School Area Safety Program strives to make streets near schools safer for walking by providing crossing guards, coordinating school area traffic enforcement, maintaining school ladder crosswalks and installing high-visibility school pedestrian crossing signs. In addition, the SFMTA’s Pedestrian Program also works to improve general pedestrian safety through enhancements to streets and sidewalks including pedestrian countdown signals and curb bulb-outs.
Walk to School Day is also sponsored by DPH’s Pedestrian Project. The Pedestrian Project seeks to improve pedestrian safety and health by increasing physical activity, improving air quality, reducing asthma, preventing depression and increasing the social cohesion in San Francisco neighborhoods. DPH works to achieve these goals through various initiatives such as coordinating Safe Routes to School activities as well as providing mini-grants to community-based organizations working for increased pedestrian health and safety.
Events for Walk to School Day are planned at nearly two-dozen sites. The largest events will take place at the following schools:
To learn more about Walk to School Day, please visit www.sfwalktoschool.com.
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