This article reports on a study that explored the barriers that prevent parents from allowing their children to commute to school. The authors used data from parents of school children in Illinois, U.S., as reported in the National Safe Routes to School Parent Surveys.
- The study finds that the top barriers for both urban and suburban children were intersection safety and traffic speed/volume. Distance from school had a greater impact on the walking or bicycling to school habits of suburban students compared to urban students.
- The authors contend that actively commuting to school gives children the opportunity to explore nature, get exercise, and develop cognitive skills. With the barriers to active commuting to school identified, the Safe Routes to School Programs in Illinois can target their resources effectively to encourage children and their parents to consider walking and biking alternatives for trips to and from school.
Fries, R., E. Sykut, et al. (2012). Barriers Influencing Illinois Children School Travel Mode Choices. Advances in Transportation Studies 27.