South Philly students ‘Walk and Roll’ to school

Photo Credit: Christopher Young and Stephanie Ridgeway, City of Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Christopher Young and Stephanie Ridgeway, City of Philadelphia.

South Philly students gathered in groups and trekked to school last week as part of the city’s 2023 Walk and Roll to School Day on Oct. 4. 

More than 100 elementary school students, families, and school staff took part in the event including South Philly’s William M. Meredith Elementary School and George W. Nebinger Elementary School in Queen Village. 

Safe Routes Philly, the City’s youth bicycle and pedestrian safety program, organized Walk and Roll to School day as the local edition of the nationwide trend. Safe Routes Philly is part of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability.

“Meredith Elementary School celebrates Walk and Roll to School Day as an extension of our highly popular Meredith Bikes to School program,” said Brian R. Wallace, Principal, William H. Meredith Elementary School. “As a caring community, Meredith participates in Walk and Roll to School Day to bring together faculty, students, families, and the community to celebrate active transportation. 

Students who attended received stickers while Safe Routes Philly staff also handed out traffic safety educational materials and equipment.

“Walk and Roll to School Day is a great way for Nebinger Elementary School students to celebrate the benefits of walking and biking to school,” said Ayana Townsend, Principal of George W. Nebinger Elementary School. “Our participants can learn about safe transportation skills, reduce traffic congestion, and spend quality time together.”

In the last quarter century, the National Center for Safe Routes to School has coordinated nationwide events for Walk & Roll to School Day and has included more than 2,000 schools in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“Walk to School Day 2023 saw an impressive number of students, families, and staff participate,” said Peter DeCarolis, Coordinator, Safe Routes Philly. “More Philadelphia schools are supporting traffic safety on their surrounding streets. Walking and rolling is simply a fun way to get to and from school. By choosing this way to travel we are enhancing student performance, building school community, and supporting environmental sustainability.”

The city’s Streets Department recently installed speed cushions at 50 schools in time for the start of the school year. The Streets Department will continue installing speed cushions citywide until every school has received traffic calming improvements, contingent on City Council authorizing more funding.