Assessing the Mode Shift Potential of Walk to School Programs
With support provided by the Barr Foundation, WalkBoston and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) developed a spatial framework for the following:
- Assessing district- and school-level walkability
- New methods for collecting student commute data
- And a formula for estimating the GHG footprint of student auto commutes and the reductions that might be achieved by successful SRTS programs
WalkBoston and MAPC recorded their findings and recommendations in the report Kids are Commuters Too: Assessing the Mode Shift Potential of Walk to School Programs. Some key findings from this study are:
- 79% of the school-age children in the study area live within a mile of at least one school.
- 54% of students living in the one mile walk-shed of a surveyed school are currently being driven to school.
- Most districts use proximity as one factor among many when assigning students to schools.
- High student proximity is a prerequisite to having a high walk/bike share, but not a guarantee.
- More than one-eighth of auto emissions at the surveyed schools result from auto commutes that could be shifted to walking or biking.