Supporting safe walking and biking to and from school
Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital encourages children and parents to walk or bicycle to school safely, map safe routes for travel, identify solutions to current traffic concerns and increase enforcement of traffic laws.
Getting to school safely
- Walk or ride with your children to familiarize them with the neighborhood, teach them about traffic signs and how traffic works, and model correct behavior.
- Stick together until you are comfortable that your kids are ready to walk or ride without you.
- Consider inviting families in your neighborhood to walk or ride to school together as a group.
- Choose sidewalks or paths separated from traffic whenever possible, even if it makes the trip longer.
- If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the motor vehicles as possible on the left side of the street against the flow of traffic. Bicycles may also ride on the sidewalk but should yield to pedestrians and also approach intersections and driveways with caution. If riding in the road, bikes should ride with the flow of traffic.
- Pick a route where you can see on-coming traffic from the sidewalk before you cross the street.
- Steer clear of sidewalks blocked by signs, poles, cars, mailboxes, garbage cans, and bushes.
- Choose a route with clearly marked crosswalks, adult crossing guards, and signalized crossings.
- Limit the number of street crossings and avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets or multi-lane roads. Test traffic signals to be sure they provide enough time to safely cross.
- Use a route that avoids potential problems like loose dogs, the presence of criminal activity, vacant buildings, construction, or poorly lit streets.
- Teach your children how to deal with strangers and identify safe places to go along the route if needed.
- Our staff helps to support fun and safe walking through support of International Walk to School Day and National Bike to School Day. These annual events encourage students, teachers and parents to get out of the car and walk or bike to school.