Archive for the “Walking FAQ” Category

What should I teach my child about pedestrian safety? Where can I find the best resources?


It’s important for parents to take the time to teach their children pedestrian safety. What they should be taught depends upon their age and maturity level. Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.

The most basic pedestrian rules for kids are:

  • always walk on sidewalks or paths (facing traffic if possible)
  • cross the street only at crosswalks
  • understand walk signals and how to operate them
  • never run out into a street (even after a toy or pet) without looking both ways
  • understand the need to be seen by cars; wear white or other light colors when out past dusk

Trailnet works with a number of local schools teaching pedestrian and bike safety. If you are interested in having a program in your school, contact Taylor March at taylor@trailnet.org.

Learn more about age appropriate pedestrian safety activities from the National Highway Safety Administration and Safe Kids Worldwide.

Not many kids at my child’s school walk or bike to school. What can I do to help increase those numbers?

Trailnet offers free workshops detailing how to increase walking and biking in your school or organization.  Contact Taylor March at taylor@trailnet.org for information.

There are several things you can do to help increase the number of kids walking and biking to your neighborhood school.

  • Talk to the principal about what the school policy is for kids walking and biking to school.  Some school districts discourage children from biking and walking to school. Find out what the principal thinks and be sure to have him or her on board before proceeding.
  • Take the idea to the PTO, it’s always better to have support from a larger group. There may already be other people addressing the issue.
  • Understand the barriers that keep neighborhood kids from walking and biking. It’s always best to understand the barriers kids and parents face before beginning to encourage walking and biking.
  • Work with parents, community officials, neighborhood organizations and school staff to remove the barriers.
  • Plan fun activities that encourage kids and parents to walk and bike to school.  Potential activities can range from simple encouragement, in-class announcements, letters home, contests between classes, and Family Walk to School Days.

Find out more from the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

How do I set up a Walk to School Day at my school?

Trailnet has experienced staff to help you organize and produce a Walk to School day at your school.  If you would like Trailnet’s assistance, contact Taylor March at taylor@trailnet.org.

If you want to organize your own Walk To School Day, there are a lot of different options. It can be as simple as sending home a flyer asking parents to walk their kids to school on a specific day or as involved as turning it into an event with prizes and snacks.

How do I find a bike path or walking trail?

Check out the Great Rivers Greenway website for biking and walking trails in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or St. Charles County.

You can also access Metro East Recreation District’s trail locator for the most comprehensive view of bike paths or walking trails on the Illinois side of the metro region.