Walking, biking, and rolling gives you brain benefits that will make it easier to concentrate once you get to school, and you will get the happiness boost from exercise and being outdoors. Active commuting to school rather than driving is one way to reduce traffic congestion at your school and can also save almost 100 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year. Here are some tips to help make your active commute safe and fun:
Choosing Your Route
The best routes are lower-volume streets that have supporting infrastructure like stop signs or lights at intersections, sidewalks for walking and rolling, or bike lanes for biking. The City of Minneapolis Walking Routes for Youth may be helpful for planning your route (scroll down to find all the versions of the map). Test the route on a non-school day. You’ll discover how long your trip takes and identify any potential hazards along the way.
- Take extra care when you approach intersections, driveways or other busy parts of the roadway. Look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Continue looking in each direction as you cross.
- Find a friend or two to walk, bike, or roll with you. It’s more fun with friends!
- Dress for the weather. Consider wearing bright or reflective clothing that will help you to be seen.
- Be alert. Avoid using your phone or two headphones when walking, biking, and rolling.
- Follow the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC guidelines for Covid-19 prevention such as mask wearing and social distancing.
- If biking, always wear a helmet.
- Bicyclists must obey motor vehicle laws. That includes yielding to pedestrians, stopping for stop signs, signaling turns and traveling with the flow of traffic. Check out this bike safety video in English or in Spanish.
- Every school has a bike rack. Make sure to remember a lock, and a u-lock is best. Try to lock your bike in a visible, camera-protected area when possible to help deter theft. Here is more information about locking your bicycle.
- If you have younger children, consider starting a “walking school bus” or “bike train” with other families in your neighborhood.
- Check out the safety tip sheets for walking (English), walking (Spanish), biking (English) and biking (Spanish).