Tucson, AZ – Friday, September 8th marks the third year that students, teachers, and parents from Los Amigos Technology Academy will be participating in Walk ‘N Roll Fridays, where organized groups walk and bike to school together. This ongoing initiative, sponsored in part by Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Tucson, a program of Living Streets Alliance in partnership with the City of Tucson, is one way that Los Amigos’ school community is making active travel an accessible option for students and their families.
Los Amigos Tech Academy begins Walk ‘N Roll Fridays early in the school year so that students and families are encouraged to start healthy habits from the get-go, and they continue every Friday throughout the year. Anywhere from 90-150 students, parents, and teachers participate by walking, scooting, and biking to school together on a given Friday. The large, visible groups help signal to drivers to “slow down” along especially challenging roadways like Drexel Road, where safe biking and walking infrastructure and disconnected pathways make active travel nearly impossible as a daily option for students. With the only route to school having discontinuous sidewalks, high traffic volume and speeds, and a barren dirt shoulder, the school community has expressed the need to “complete” the street with amenities like sidewalks, shade trees, protected bikeways, and enhanced crossings to make walking and biking a safer and more comfortable experience for families every day.
For their Walk ‘N Roll Kick-Off this Friday, September 8th, the school is pleased to have special guest Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres accompany walkers and celebrate their commitment to creating a healthier community together. Tucson Police Department and the Pima County Sheriff Department will also be present to support students on their journey to school. Los Amigos staff, students, and families will assemble at the parking lot of Cattletown Steakhouse (3141 E. Drexel Road) starting at 7:00 AM, where breakfast snacks for youth will be provided. Five different “Walking School Bus” routes, including one “Bicycle Train” (groups of school children walking and biking together with grown-up leaders) will meet up at Cattletown to greet special guest walkers and lead the way to Los Amigos.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bike and walk to school. On average, students can get one-fourth of their recommended daily physical activity simply by walking to school. Studies show that children who walk or bike to school arrive more alert and ready to learn. SRTS programs also reduce traffic congestion and pollution around schools, improve safety in school zones, and provide families and friends with opportunities to share time with each other and build connections within their community.
In 2014, Living Streets Alliance (LSA) kicked off the SRTS Tucson program in partnership with the City of Tucson, to encourage more children and families to walk and bike throughout the Tucson region. For more information, visit http://www.saferoutestucson.org
The mission of Living Streets Alliance is to “promote healthy communities by empowering people to transform our streets into vibrant places for walking, bicycling, socializing, and play.” LSA is improving access to active modes of transportation in the region through outreach, education, advocacy and research. For more information, visit http://www.livingstreetsalliance.org