Fancy Software for Simple Things: Measuring Kids Walking and Biking to School

We know that the number of children walking or biking to school is dropping. We know about the direct link between physical activity and health. However, we still need a better understanding of the movement of children and young adults in our cities.

BikeWalkRoll represents a new era in transportation planning – an era where kids count as traffic too. How does it work? With a computer and one simple class-time survey question, BikeWalkRoll lets school populations from anywhere in the world see who walks and bikes the most. Any given day the answers from each class are tallied to create a score and appear on an online map. When you look at the map, the scores tell a revealing story. Its game-driven and science-based.

Think back. When you were a kid, how did you get to school? Did you walk? Did you ride a bike?  Did your parents drive you? Did you take the bus?

Think about the factors that might have influenced you. Did you parents worry about traffic safety? Where in the city did you live? Were there less cars? Did you live in Canada or Holland or China?

We know that kids love biking and walking to school. The key is to measure what’s happening and start changing for the better.

So, try it out. Tell a teacher to get started today:


By Anders Swanson,

Project Head, Bike Walk Roll Project

BikeWalkRoll is being developed by Green Action Centre, with the generous support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation