Chatham Borough and Township residents can expect quieter streets during TransOptions' Walk and Bike to School week, April 23rd-27th. All six public schools will be encouraging students to arrive at school by means other than a family vehicle.
The event is seen as a pollution-reducing effort in celebration of Earth Day and also as part of a year-long effort by parents on the Chatham Safe Routes to School Committee to reduce vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian and biker safety around schools.
Examples of activities for the week are:
- Walking School Buses - Younger children who live within walking distance of a school will be escorted in groups on foot by a designated parent.
- Biking Safety Classes - TransOptions has trained the Chatham School District’s physical education teachers to provide bicycle safety lessons during regularly scheduled PE classes. The bicycle safety lessons are designed to educate the students on the importance of helmet safety, how to read road signs, proper use of turn signals, and general rules of the road.
- Celebrations and Encouragement for Students Milton Ave School parents plan to lead a Pedestrian Safety Flash Mob dance; Middle School PE teachers will give rewards for walking and biking to school or to the school bus stop; high school parents will give out rewards for biking and walking to school; students at the middle and high schools are in the process of making promotional videos and posters on the benefits of walking and biking; Chatham Borough Traffic Safety Officer, Robert Sweetin, will visit some of the schools to offer safety advice throughout the week.
- Parent information on safest, recommended routes – A map has been developed by TransOptions that depicts the most Recommended Walking Routes to school for each public school in the District. The maps include sidewalk, crosswalk and crossing guard locations, and will be distributed to parents throughout the district as a tool for them to plan their trip to school. The local off-street footpath data was collected by volunteer Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts groups within the Township/Borough.
- Information for drivers - Parents will be reminded about how to drive when bikers and pedestrians are present.
We encourage you and your school to participate in TransOptions' Walk and Bike to School Week April 23-27th. Contact Joseph Weiss if you would like to develop a Safe Routes to School Program for your community.