Remote learning has been beyond challenging for parents, students and teachers alike, but it may have also brought one of the biggest opportunities for reducing traffic around school sites when they do eventually re-open.
Before shelter-in-place orders most students were driven all the way to the front door of school. Braving the long drop-off lines, or letting our kids get out of the car in the middle of the street and letting them run across oncoming traffic to get to school made for a high-stress daily routine.
The Good News!
There is a simple and lower-stress solution to drop-off and pick-up – driving MOST of the way to school and walking the last block or two. That’s it!
By parking your car down the street and walking, there will be less traffic right in front of the school, your student will get some exercise before class (which will help them focus on their lessons) and you will actually save time by NOT sitting in drop-off circle traffic!
We call this solution “Park & Walk”.
What is Park & Walk?
Park & Walk programs encourage parents and guardians to park a block or two away from the school and walk the rest of the way. Not only does this reduce traffic in front of the school, but it also provides an opportunity for students to get some exercise in before class. Park & Walk is a great option for students that live too far away to otherwise walk.
How to get started
The Transportation Agency for Monterey County staff is working with several school districts to pilot Park & Walk Programs, creating and distributing Park & Walk Maps and promotional materials. However, a parent or guardian interested in Park & Walk, can start the activity before their child’s school officially adopts such a program by following these simple steps:
- Locate a secure curbside parking space 1-2 blocks away from the school (if possible, park on the same side of the street as the school to minimize the number of street crossings)
- The weekend before starting Park & Walk, practice parking and walking to school from the identified location with your child:
- Time yourself so you know long it takes
- Walk on the sidewalk (if present)
- Wear a face covering and stay at least 6’ away from other pedestrians
- Look both ways before crossing the street and make eye-contact with drivers before stepping-out
- Start Park & Walk!
For more ideas on how to start and run a Park & Walk Program check-out the following resources:
If you are interested in starting a Park & Walk program at your school, contact Ariana Green, Transportation Agency for Monterey County at firstname.lastname@example.org