School Streets

Create a car-free zone at a school to provide safer conditions for walking and cycling


  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Evaluation


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


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


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


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


To reduce vehicle congestion and traffic safety risks commonly seen around schools, and to encourage children, families and teachers to use active transportation. 


A School Streets initiative involves restricting vehicular traffic in front of a school for a 15 to 60 minute period, twice per day, during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times. This typically involves installing temporary barriers at either end of the street ‘closure’. A permit will usually be required from the local municipality, and signage, detour routes and other important information will need to be posted in and around the section of road that will be restricted. 

School Streets are very visible initiatives that create excitement and can help to cultivate more social connection and interaction between families attending a school. Closing streets to traffic is a complex undertaking, though, that requires the support and participation of multiple stakeholders. To engage in a successful School Streets initiative will require working closely with school staff, parents and students, as well as local residents, community organizations, municipal staff, and elected officials.  

What you will need:

An individual or a work group to coordinate planning and implementing the School Street community survey/consultation, street closure permits, road closure signage and barriers, volunteers or staff to control barriers.  


School administration, municipal councillor, municipal staff, neighbourhood representatives, parents, students.


Key Words:

Urban planning, active transportation, walking, cycling, student, travel, wheeling, skateboarding, safety, healthy, well-being, active, car-free, street closure, open streets, traffic-free, traffic congestion, road safety