Long distances and a lack of sidewalks don’t explain the small number of kids walking to school

While the federal Safe Routes to School program has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in communities throughout the U.S. on sidewalks, crossings, and education to improve safety and increase the number of children walking and bicycling to school, the program appears to be solving only part of the problem.

At Bailey Elementary School in Minnesota, where not a single student out of 620 walks to school, the reasons cited by parents aren’t a lack of sidewalks or an unwalkable distance to school for most students. Instead, fear of crime and kidnappers, kids’ unwillingness to walk, and parents’ desire to spend more time with their children on the drive to and from school appear to be the key factors.

Read more in this article, recently featured on the Minnesota Public Radio website.