Idaho ranks sixth in Safe Walks to School participation

Idaho’s commitment to mobility and safe alternative routes to school elevated the state to sixth nationally in 2011 International Walk to School participation.

Only five other states surpassed Idaho’s level of participation, according to information released last week by the international organization. Mississippi led the nation with one in every six elementary schools participating in alternative transportation to school. Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina and New Mexico rounded out the top five states.

Behind Idaho, which noted participation by one in every 12 elementary schools, were Arizona, Massachusetts, Nevada and Vermont.

Walking and bicycling to school embodies two goals of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign – to increase children’s physical activity and to empower parents to make healthy choices, according to information on the International Walk to School website.

“The fact that every state had at least one registered Walk to School Day event is truly impressive. Even more impressive is the fact that this year marks the 10th consecutive Walk to School Day with a 100 percent participation rate among states.

“Nationally, nearly one in 28 elementary schools registered a Walk to School Day event this year

Increasing physical activity and reducing obesity were considered the top reasons for joining the effort.

Other notable outcomes from the annual event include:

  • 74 percent of the events led to policy or engineering changes
  • 35 percent of the events prompted walking and bicycling promotions to existing school policies
  • 35 percent of the events led to the addition of sidewalks, paths, crosswalks or crossing guards, and
  • 22 percent led to the addition of school signs

For more information, visit the I-Walk International Walk to School in the USA website:

Published 6-15-2012