Almanac

Viewpoint - June 26, 2013

Letter: Safe Routes to School

Editor:

Is traffic bad in the mornings? According to a recent presentation by the Climate Task Force of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a quarter to a third of morning traffic is caused by cars driving individual students to school. In San Mateo County, 57 percent of students are driven to school in a car containing one child. Only 5 percent of school children commute by bus and only 3 percent by bike. This is pretty outrageous when you consider that 39 percent of these students live within a quarter-mile of their school and 54 percent live within a half-mile.

Thirty years ago, most children commuted to and from school by bus. Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of the "Safe Routes to Schools" program initiated nationwide and funded in Santa Clara County by the VTA and in San Mateo County by C/CAG. There are so many great alternatives to one child commuting in one car to and from school each day.

There is a wealth of information at www.smcoe.k12.ca.us in San Mateo County or www.sccgov.org in Santa Clara County in the "Safe Routes to Schools" section. This provides promising avenues to promoting a healthier community for everyone.

Kaia Eakin

Redwood City

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