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San Francisco Walks to School

by John Hamilton

A generation ago, nearly half of all U.S. kids walked or bicycled to school. Today, less than fifteen percent do, with the majority arriving at school in private automobiles. It’s no coincidence, then, that studies show more than a quarter of San Francisco’s children are overweight. But a new program hopes to change that trend, while reducing greenhouse gas pollution and increasing fun.

With the help of a $500,000 grant from the federal government, San Francisco has launched its own “Safe Routes to Schools” program, aimed at encouraging students and parents to walk or bike to school.

At Longfellow Elementary last Wednesday, October 7th, students joined parents on a “walking school bus.” Although the date was part of International Walk to School Day, organizers plan group walks to school every Wednesday—with the ultimate goal of walking to school every day.

This piece originally appeared on

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In the Canton of Geneva there are more than 60 Pédibus lines: children walking to school with a "driver", an adult "driving" the Pédibus. Geneva celebrated International Walk to School Day on 22 September 2009. On that Day, the Parents Association of Pregny-Chambésy, a small town just outside of Geneva, inaugurated 4 new Pédibus lines. The Cantonal Coordination Pédibus Genève helps schools and parents launch new Pédibus lines. For more information see

Ida Koppen Bianchi, President Parents Association Pregny Chambésy

Posted by: Ida Koppen on 14 Oct 09

Just the other day I heard that they are expecting kids born today to live to be the age of 100. I just don't understand how that can be when our kids (and our entire population) is just getting fatter.

In short, it is unfortunate that kids are not walking or riding bike to school anymore.

Posted by: ben on 15 Oct 09

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