During annual walking event, Placer County celebrates new ‘Safe Routes to School’ initiative

Published Sept. 25, 2019

Oct. 2 is National Walk to School Day, and Placer County is again inviting community members to participate in its annual “Placer Walks” event by walking to school, work or around your neighborhood and sharing the benefits of being active. The county is also celebrating a new Safe Routes to School initiative for students walking to six local schools.

The new Safe Routes to School project grew from a partnership with the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, with funding from the Caltrans Active Transportation Program as part of the Highway 49 Sidewalk Gap Closure project. PCTPA will be closing gaps between sidewalks on the Highway 49 corridor between Interstate 80 and Dry Creek Road, creating a continuous sidewalk on at least one side of the highway. Placer County’s Public Health division, meanwhile, will be working with six nearby schools to educate students and families about safety and encourage them to walk, bike or choose other alternatives to driving more often.  

“Walking to school has many benefits, including reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. Developing healthy habits early on also has a lasting impact on a child’s life,” said acting Public Health Director Joe Arsenith. “We’re grateful to see the infrastructure built out to enable more walkable routes, and excited to work with our local schools to make sure students can safely navigate those routes.”

The six Auburn schools that are eligible to participate in the Safe Routes project are Auburn Elementary, Rock Creek Elementary, E.V. Cain Middle School, Placer High School, Confluence High School and Maidu Virtual Charter Academy. For more information about the project, contact Shannon Ng at sng@placer.ca.gov

All local schools, businesses and others are encouraged to participate in Placer Walks on Oct. 2. So far, at least 22 organizations including 12 schools are participating. Share your walking photo on social media using the #PlacerWalks hashtag to show your support of safe walking and active lifestyles.