So, we are pretty excited to announce that our Active and Safe Routes to School project is going “4G” if you will! After applying for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba’s Challenge Grant, we were so pleased to find out that our project application for “Happy Feet, Healthy Hearts through Active School Travel” made the cut for the four projects chosen. We also noticed we are the only project without a “Dr” beside our names!

Happy Feet, Healthy Hearts

Our project is making use of modern technology to help make it easier for families, schools, and municipalities to identify, improve, and make use of priority active routes to and from school. Through this project we are developing an IPad/IPhone Application that will help us map and survey school communities about their travel routes. Working with schools to identify their traffic issues and barriers to active travel, this tool will help communities to identify solutions, and increase the amount of students walking or cycling to school.

Our application is still in development, but the tool will help us collect a lot of useful data (such as routes, traffic counts, and traffic speed) that can be used as part of a mapping and planning process for communities. Our tool will be piloted in 3 schools with the help a Master’s of City Planning intern from the University of Manitoba. With this project, we will be able to construct priority routes maps for families, help schools and school divisions make important transportation planning decisions, and assist municipalities in improving the pedestrian/cyclist environment for our children.

This project is part of our School Travel Planning work which aims to get more families walking and wheeling to/from school by bringing together community stakeholders to identify barriers to active transportation for each school and develop a written action plan. With STP, active school travel becomes a realistic choice for a greater number of families, while educating citizens and pooling community resources efficiently.