Atlanta Board of Education Policy Agenda: Make it possible for kids to travel safely and sustainably to school
Create Safe Routes to School Plans
Atlanta Public Schools works with Atlanta and Georgia Departments of Transportation to create a Safe Routes travel plan for each school.
Improve Street Safety for Students
Atlanta Public Schools works with Atlanta Department of Transportation on street safety improvements for students who don’t receive bus service because they live inside the “walk zone.”
Implement Sustainable Education Curriculum
Atlanta Public Schools adds sustainable transportation education to the curriculum for all students.
Schools Set Multimodal Parking Standards
Atlanta Public Schools empowers local school leadership to set their own parking standards for cars, bikes, skateboards, and scooters.
Speed Camera Program Transparency
Atlanta Public Schools shares data from its speed camera program transparently, in order to provide accountability, prevent racial profiling associated with police enforcement, and inform street design.
Advocate for MARTA Youth Fares
Atlanta Board of Education members advocate for an equitable MARTA fare structure that makes transit affordable for families and free for young people.
In 1969, almost half of all students ages 5-14 walked or biked to school. By 2013, that figure dropped to 17.4 percent. Sedentary lifestyles have led to an epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States. Overweight and obese children face an increased risk of health problems and are more likely to miss school and struggle academically. The pandemic has made us even more aware of the health benefits of exercise in maintaining strong respiratory and cardiology systems.
Atlanta Public Schools has the responsibility to help all children become more physically active by implementing proven strategies that promote walking, biking, and rolling to and from school. Physical education classes, recess, and after-school programs currently support students’ opportunities for physical activity, but more can be done. Measures like traffic calming, transportation safety education, and infrastructure improvements will further enhance students’ overall health and personal development through opportunities to increase physical activity, engage with their communities, and form life-long healthy transportation habits. This responsibility requires action, with a deliberate focus on children in school communities where negative health indicators are highly correlated with one’s zip code.
Education is fundamental to building future travelers who get around in ways that build community, save money, improve health, and conserve space. How kids get places today can be a good indicator of how they will move throughout the city tomorrow.
Public transportation, or transit, benefits everyone — even people who don’t use it. Transit cuts down on traffic, helps students and employees get to work on time, and is safer than other modes of travel.