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Active School Travel in Canada

This presentation from Green Communities Canada fovuses on active school travel in Canada:
- active and safe routes to school
- international context
-The Canadian STP model
- Canadian success

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Active School Travel in Canada

  1. 1. Active School Travel in Canada Active & Safe Routes to School International context Why STP? Canadian STP model Canadian success Jacky Kennedy Director, Canada Walks
  2. 2. School Travel Initiatives in Canada 14 years of growth Recreation & Parks Of the Yukon CACO/YN TBD HASTE BC Saskatchewan City of St. John’s in motion Velo Quebec SHAPE Alberta Green Action Recreation PEI Centre Lung Association Of New Brunswick Green Communities Canada Ecology Action Centre
  3. 3. School Travel Planning HistoryHistory is rooted in safety. Going back nearly 35 years to 1976…• Danish city of Odense launch a Safe Routes to School project in response to children killed due to traffic collisions• Community members, teachers, politicians and civilians worked to change dangerous streets to safe streets• 3 years later: annual collision rate was reduced by 85% Sustrans U.K. SRTS led by example European programs blossomed Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States
  4. 4. International Best Practice  Revised 2010  Focus on:  New Zealand  United Kingdom  Australia  United States  Not Europe - too dissimilar to Canada 
  6. 6. School Travel Planning History1971:• Policy Studies Institute: ‘One False Move…’ by Mayer Hillman, John Adams and John Whitelegg• 10 UK schools, ages 7 to 15, conducted• 80% travelled actively, unaccompanied by adults1990:• Same 10 UK schools surveyed; compared to results from 10 German schools• Results indicated a drop in active school travel to less than 10%; German children more active than UK children2010:• Same surveys are being conducted in 2010 in UK, Germany, Australia, Denmark, France, Israel, Italy and Norway.• Results to be published in 2011.
  7. 7. School Travel Planning – UK ResultsPromoting Active Travel to School: Progress and PotentialNHS South West, UK Department of Health, October 2010 paper attempted to answer:➔ How far can young people reasonably be expected to walk orcycle to school?➔ Is any progress being made to get more young people active bypromoting walking or cycling to school?➔ What is the potential for encouraging more young people towalk or cycle to school?➔ What can be done to get better value for money?
  8. 8. School Travel Planning –UK Results2007/08 data available from 9 local authorities across the South West:•The data indicated a 3 per cent increase in the number of young peoplewalking to school in the last two years; an average of an additional 600young people per local authority, using active travel on most school days.•This ranges from an extra 7.9% in North Somerset (1060 young people) tovirtually no change in Torbay.•Average of an additional 230,000 walking trips per local authority per yearexamined.
  9. 9. Travel Planning –UK ResultsWhat Can Be Done to Get Better Value?• Using smarter information about travel patterns to and from schools, e.g.the School Travel Health Check (• Identifying and supporting schools with the most potential for change.• Recognizing and highlighting economic values associated with a shift fromcar to active travel. Current estimates annual £600 return.• Providing information for prospective parents about the benefits andpotential of active travel before decisions on school choice are made –reduce “child miles” travelled for the school journey.• Ensuring schools continue to feel supported to change the travel behaviourof their young people.• Working collaboratively to promote active travel to school enables a moreefficient approach to tackling transport and health issues.
  10. 10. Travel Planning –UK ResultsValue for Money: An Economic Assessment of Investment in Walking and Cycling Adrian Davis, 2010 •Assesses the evidence base from both peer reviewed and grey literature both in the UK and beyond •The volume of literature on CBA/BCR of interventions to promote routine walking and cycling has grown in recent years and reveals that the economic justification for investments to facilitate cycling and walking has been undervalued or not even considered in public policy decision-making •Yet, almost all of the studies report economic benefits which are highly significant, with benefit to cost ratios averaging 11.5:1
  11. 11. Travel Planning –UK Results Cost Benefit Analysis of links to schools DfT’s economic appraisal method applied to three Links to Schools schemes in 2005 1) Bootle: a series of improvements to an existing route close to a number of schools BCR 29.3:1 2) Hartlepool: Construction of a toucan crossing close to a primary and a secondary school, and general infrastructure improvements BCR 32.5:1 3) Newhaven: A new shared-use path forming a link between, two secondary schools BCR 14.9:1
  12. 12. Travel Planning –UK ResultsValue for Money: An Economic Assessment of Investment in Walking and Cycling Adrian Davis, 2010 •Conservative calculations: even greater economic benefits are possible than those reported •Such high benefit to cost ratios are rare in transport planning •“Investment in infrastructure and to facilitate increased activity levels amongst local communities through cycling and walking is likely to be a ‘best buy’ for our health, the NHS at large in terms of cost savings, as well as for the road transport sector.”
  13. 13. School Travel Planning: National Dissemination Jan 2010 to Mar 2012 •Partners: Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP), Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, The Public Health Agency of Canada •Project includes national expansion of School Travel Planning (STP), and an added focus on sustainable happiness, health and STP Production of this information has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada, through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; and from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expressed herein represent the views of the Children’s Mobility, Health and Happiness: A Canadian School Travel Planning Model project and do not necessarily represent the views of the project funders.
  14. 14. Child and Youth Friendly Planning In transport and land-use planning, the needs of children and youth should receive as much priority as the needs of people of other ages and the requirements of business. Progress in Canada towards achieving this goal.
  15. 15. Results: A Canadian Study of Active School Travel Rates and Barriers Beesley, T., Faulkner, G., Arbour, K., Builing, R. , Stone, M. Faculty of Physical Education and Health, Faculty of Geography University of Toronto Faculty of Physical Education and Health, Faculty of Geography University of Toronto Creation and analysis of survey instruments: Family Survey Classroom Survey
  16. 16. Sustainable Happiness and STP School Travel Planning adheres to the principle of Sustainable Happiness: happiness that contributes to individual, community and/or global well-being and does not exploit other people, the environment or future generations.
  17. 17. Metrolinx GTHA School Travel Household Attitudinal StudySurvey conducted in Fall 2009 by Harris/Decima Inc. on behalf ofMetrolinxObjective: First overview of elementary school travel in GreaterToronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)1,001 English telephone interviews completed with parents andguardians of children attending elementary school (i.e.Kindergarten to Grade 8)Collected information on:• Child’s usual mode of travel to and from school• Parental perceptions about school travel (e.g. safety, convenience)• Awareness of school travel programs and infrastructure• Interest in active and sustainable school travel modes Final study report to be available at
  18. 18. Metrolinx GTHA School Travel Household Attitudinal StudyElementary school students are primarily travelling to and fromschool by foot, automobile, and school busNearly one tenth of students are travelling differently ontheir trip to school versus home from school, with the mostcommon combination being driven to school and walking home To school Home from school 50% 40% 40% 37% 34% 29% 30% 21% 21% 20% 10% 2% 2% 3% 4% 1% 1% 1% 1% 0% Driven Carpool School Bus Public Transit Walking Cycling Other Final study report to be available at
  19. 19. Metrolinx GTHA School Travel Household Attitudinal Study Driven Carpool School bus Public transit Walk Bicycle To school 34% 2% 21% 3% 37% 1% Overall Home from school 29% 2% 21% 4% 40% 1% Live within 1 km of To school 21% 1% 76% 1% child’s school Home from school 18% 1% 78% 1% To school 43% 3% 19% 1% 28% 3%Live between 1 and 2 km of child’s school Home from school 36% 3% 20% 2% 32% 3% Live more than 2 km To school 40% 2% 41% 8% 7% from child’s school Home from school 36% 1% 41% 10% 9% Final study report to be available at
  20. 20. Findings: Metrolinx GTHA School Travel Household Attitudinal Study Nearly 60% of overall parents say their childs school is close enough that they could reasonably walk or bike Over 50% of parents whose child is currently driven see the option of their child walking or biking to school as convenient and appealing Over 40% of parents whose child is driven would be interested in considering a different mode of school travel Final study report to be available at
  21. 21. What is School Travel Planning? A School Travel Plan is both a document & a process: addresses issues of sustainability, safety & health associated with ‘the school run’ using a community-based approach Considers school travel as part of overall municipal & school board transportation policies/ plans Sets specific implementation targets & measures progress Involves all relevant stakeholders (school board, schools, government, NGOs, parent groups, families, students) Supports local, regional & national priorities (e.g. health, climate change)
  22. 22. The STP Process Year 1 SET-UP (Jun) DATA COLLECTION *Baseline (Sept/Oct) *Final (May) ACTION PLANNING THE STP Year 2 (Oct – Dec) DOCUMENT IMPLEMENTATION (Oct – Jun)
  23. 23. STP Municipal Stakeholders Relevant School Districts School Transport- Travel ation Planning Engineers Facilitator Public Land Use Health Municipal Planning STP Steering Committee Local Non Police / Profit Bylaw Organiz- Services ations Municipal Mayor Councillor s
  24. 24. STP Measures – 5 “E”sEnforcement • “Eyes on the Street” • Police, bylaw officers, community watchEngineering • Involvement in school site planning & design • Multi-modal school & neighbourhood assessments and retrofits • Municipal transportation engineers & plannersEducation • Workshops on travel choice, safety, skills • Curriculum-based opportunities • Public Health, police, STP facilitatorsEncouragement • Programs - Walking School Bus, Bicycle Trains, Walk a Block, Walking Buddies • Events - iWALK, Walk/Wheel on Wednesdays • Public Health, teachers, STP facilitatorsEvaluation • Surveys (family, students), walkabout, traffic counts • Steering committee/school reviews
  25. 25. Data Collection Classroom Survey Family Survey Neighbourhood Walkabout Traffic Observations
  26. 26. Data Collection Tools Classroom Survey: To/From School  Results of Classroom Survey
  27. 27. Family Survey School Travel Planning Project: FAMILY SURVEY – Baseline <Insert school name>• Includes Sustainable Happiness questions Q12. The way my child usually travels to school contributes to his/her:  physical well-being, e.g. healthy heart, bones and muscles  emotions and overall well-being, e.g. happiness, relationship with friends  well-being of our community, e.g. students get to know neighbourhood  environmental well-being, e.g. less pollution
  28. 28. Neighbourhood WalkaboutAll stakeholders participateElected officialsObserve key issues as a groupTake photosDiscuss short- and long-termactionsAssign responsibility for actionsInput to plan
  29. 29. Traffic Observation/Count Conducted over 3-5 daysCount vehicles arriving/leaving, persons on foot, on bicycles, other
  30. 30. STP Success StoriesShatford Memorial, Nova Scotia:• Town population: 400• School population: 78 students• Barriers: traffic speed, outdated crosswalk, traffic violations, poor access to safe routes• Successes: road improvements, crosswalk review planned, connector trail…
  31. 31. New Westminster, British Columbia  Municipal Committee project lead  Proactive approach including mapping of best walking routes to each school
  32. 32. St. John’s, Newfoundland April 2020: Provincial advisory committee formed June 2010: STP Facilitator hired September 2010: Pilot test at 7 St. John’s schools begins Pilot project will include bicycle 13 out of 18 elementary schools participated in 2010 IWALK – highest ever September hurricane slowed down process! St. Andrew’s School, St. John’s
  33. 33. Walking Aids Adult crossing guards Walking route signsCurb cuts/stop lines Reflective vests for walk leaders Yellow route markers
  34. 34. In ClosingA walkable/bikeable school community can be a strong indicator for health and happiness of the students. Pswd: stptools2009

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This presentation from Green Communities Canada fovuses on active school travel in Canada: - active and safe routes to school - international context -The Canadian STP model - Canadian success


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