Active School Travel

What is Active School Travel?

Active School Travel is the use of any form of human-powered travel to get to and from school. It includes walking or wheeling (including cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, and scootering.

Taking the school bus is also active school travel. We encourage riding the bus as a sustainable form of transportation.

Why Active School Travel?

Active School Travel:

  • improves physical and mental health
  • reduces traffic congestion and improves safety for everyone in school zones and around our school community
  • improves air quality
  • improves student academic performance by making children more alert and better prepared to learn
  • encourages social interaction and improves social skills
  • promotes life-long habits that foster independence and active lifestyles, preparing children for their future
Group of student walking into school building

School zone safety is a shared responsibility! We all have a part to play.

York Region District School Board is committed to encouraging Active School Travel in all of our school communities and providing education on the many benefits.

 

Getting Started

To get started we recommend taking small steps and slowly building your program within your school community. If you need help to get started or for resources visit Ontario Active School Travel or email activeschooltravel@yrdsb.ca.

 

What are we doing?

School Streets

School Streets are temporary road closures of streets in front of schools during peak school drop-off and pick-up times. They create car-free zones that facilitates a safer environment for active school travel by restricting traffic during these peak times.

York Region’s first School Street Test Program will take place at John McCrae P.S. in the City of Markham.

The street adjacent to John McCrae P.S. (Stricker Ave) will be closed during peak periods for four consecutive Wednesdays in the month of May with limited access during the School Street operations.

For more information visit www.markham.ca/activeschooltravel

Elementary students playing outside

Pilot programs are promoting walking and cycling at seven YRDSB schools in Markham:

  • Castlemore P.S.
  • Coppard Glen P.S.
  • David Suzuki P.S.
  • John McCrae P.S.
  • Legacy P.S.
  • Randall P.S
  • Stonebridge P.S.

Initiatives to encourage active school travel at the pilot schools include:

  • weekly walking programs
  • participation in dates like IWALK, Winter Walk Day and Bike to School Week
  • communications to schools, families and students about benefits and opportunities to participate in active school travel
  • bicycle education
  • customized wayfinding signage
  • interactive sidewalk stencils to create a more enjoyable walk to school
  • classroom competitions
  • group walks to help build family connections
  • traffic enhancements: zebra crossing, restricted on-street pick-up and drop-off activity, painted curb lines to reinforce restricted zones, school zone road stencils
  • kiss & Ride loop closures once a week
  • planned School Streets pilot (closure of road) May 2022

The pilots are a partnership with:

  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • City of Markham
  • Region of York 

The pilot launched in 2019 and is made possible through funding from Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Community Canada, the City of Markham and York Region.

This pilot program is focused on increasing the safety of pedestrians in school areas and encouraging active school travel. The schools involved are:

  • Alexander Muir P.S.
  • Maple Leaf P.S.
  • Prince Charles P.S.
  • Stonehaven E.S. 

Initiatives to encourage active school travel at the pilot schools include:

  • weekly walking program
  • participation in dates including IWALK, Winter Walk Day and Bike to School Week
  • communications to schools, families and students about benefits and opportunities to participate in active school travel
  • wayfinding signage
  • interactive sidewalk stencils
  • School zone road stencils
  • Red Painted Curbs and signage to create no stopping zones directly adjacent to the school

The Newmarket Active School Travel pilot is a partnership between:

  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • Region of York Region
  • Town of Newmarket
  • Smart Commute Central York.  

For more information visit www.newmarket.ca/activeschooltravel

In 2022, we plan to launch a Vaughan Active School Travel pilot at nine schools. The pilot will look at piloting traffic calming measures, wayfinding signage and programs to promote and encourage sustainable travel. More information coming soon.

This is a collaboration between:

  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • Region of York
  • City of Vaughan
  • York Regional Police
Tune In YRDSB logo

Tune In YRDSB: Active Routes to School

Listen as we discuss the numerous benefits, the barriers and some of the creative ways we are working with partners to encourage more families to use active school travel.