For Immediate Release – November 10, 2014

Innovative pilot project generates vital data about walking and biking around Winnipeg elementary schools.

Green Action Centre, in partnership with the University of Manitoba Civil Engineering Department and the City of Winnipeg have embarked on a ground breaking project to create Active School Travel Engineering Plans (ASTEP) at 17 schools around Winnipeg in Louis Riel, Pembina Trails and Winnipeg School Divisions.

As part of a 4th year transportation engineering course, under the direction of Dr. Jeannette Montufar, 68 civil engineering students are assessing the immediate area around the schools, as well as streets throughout the surrounding neighbourhoods. The result? The creation of Active School Travel Engineering Plans (ASTEP).

These plans will identify opportunities to the City of Winnipeg’s transportation professionals about priority areas for possible infrastructure improvements that could enhance the walking and cycling environment for students traveling to and from school. The City will then work with area residents and the broader community to explore what recommendations can be implemented.

A similar process in the Fort Richmond neighbourhood resulted in $500,000 of infrastructure investments including pathways, better signage and raised crosswalks. The process in Fort Richmond also created the first neighbourhood-based walking and cycling map in Winnipeg.

Students will present their findings to the City of Winnipeg through a poster presentation at the end of term, and each project will extend into 2015 through a series of broader community consultations.

This project is very exciting for many reasons:

  • This is a pioneering project related to active school travel. A project of this scale has never been done before in Winnipeg.
  • Active transportation helps to ease traffic congestion around schools and the physical activity associated with walking and biking helps children stay healthy, makes them happier, more alert and ready to learn when they get to school.
  • If this project is successful, it could be replicated or expanded in future years and impact more Winnipeg schools. Ultimately, it will assist in improving the safety of children traveling actively to and from school and other important neighbourhood destinations.
Students will share their findings at poster presentations the following days in the Engineering Atrium at the University of Manitoba:

Monday, Nov. 24, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 27, 10:00 to 11:15 a.m.


Media Contacts:

Jackie Avent
Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre – (204)925-3773

Jeannette Montufar
Professor, Civil Engineering
University of Manitoba – (204) 474-6799

Lisa Fraser
City of Winnipeg
(204) 986-6000