Safer Streets Advocacy

Engage families in advocating for safer streets for walking and cycling

Theme

  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Evaluation

Audience

  • Students
  • Broader Community
  • Municipality
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • School Board
  • Principals

Grade

  • 4-8
  • 1-3
  • 9-12
  • Kindergarten

Mode

  • Cycle
  • School Bus
  • Scooter
  • Skateboard
  • Walk
  • Transit
  • Car
  • Wheelchair

Issue

  • Student Skills
  • Traffic Problems
  • Student Supervision
  • Infrastructure Gaps
  • School Culture
  • Issues Not Understood
  • School Site
  • Lack of Data
  • Routes to School
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Theme: Education, Engineering
Audience: Broader Community, Municipality, Parents, School Board
School Grade: 1-3, 4-8, 9-12, Kindergarten
Mode: Car, Cycle, School Bus, Scooter, Skateboard, Transit, Walk, Wheelchair
Issues: Lack of Data, Routes to School, School Site, Traffic Problems

Purpose:

To bring road safety issues to the attention of decision makers and advocate for improvements that make streets safer for walking and cycling.

Description:

Students and their parents/caregivers have extensive knowledge and experience of their neighbourhood streets through their daily school journeys. As a result, they can have an important role in making sure municipal staff and elected officials are aware of local traffic safety and accessibility concerns, and in advocating for improvements. The key steps in safer streets advocacy involve: 

  • Connect with others 
  • Find other passionate individuals in the school and surrounding community. Discuss your concerns about traffic and infrastructure problems affecting walking and cycling and your vision for the neighbourhood.  
  • Gather information  
  • Conducting a Family Travel Survey, a neighbourhood Walkabout, Bikeabout, Traffic Count and/or Traffic Observation are some of the ways to gather input from the community.   
  • Advocate for improvements 

Engage local elected officials (e.g. municipal councillor, school trustee) in the discussions as early as possible as they can advise on potential solutions, whether improvements are already planned, and how to request changes. It is best to write to officials and request to meet with them in person or by phone. When requesting improvements, be specific about the locations and problems, but keep an open mind about the types of solutions that might be best suited to address them. 

What you will need:

A group of individuals who share an interest in improving street safety, tools and materials to gather and present information about local concerns.  

Help:

Teachers, students, parents and caregivers, public health nurses, municipal transportation planning staff, school board staff, elected officials (e.g. municipal councillor and school board trustee), police or bylaw services, community support workers.

Resources:

The Centre for Active Transportation “Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools

Share the Road Cycling Coalition “Advocacy Toolkit” and “Advocacy Templates 

Key Words:

Advocate, advocacy, street, design, traffic calming, traffic, safety, evaluation, engineering, complete streets, infrastructure, community safety