Active & Safe Routes to School

Success Stories

  • School Travel Planning (STP)

    Bike Day – A Huge Success

    As part of the Halifax & Mountain Equipment Coop Bike to School Day 2014 the Westmount Elementary School Travel Planning Committee hosted a Bike to School Day and Rodeo to celebrate all the students who chose to actively wheel to school on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

    The day was a huge success!  150+ students, on their scooters, bikes and skateboards, participated in the rodeo hosted during the lunch time period. Students were engaged at three rodeo stations, which were led, by parents and community volunteers. The stations instructed students in proper bike and helmet fit, hand signaling and bike maintenance. Afterwards participating students were led in a group bike ride throughout the West End Halifax Community.

    The number of students who participated and the huge interest from the school’s scootering population pleasantly surprised the organizers.  Plans for Bike to School 2015 are already underway, next year the event will be organized to accommodate even more students and will also include a rodeo just for scooters.


    PlaceMaking – Celebrating Community and Physical Activity Through Art

    The Bedford South School Traveling Committee is currently participating in the HRM Placemaking Project. HRM Placemaking is a project developed to create a sense of place in a community by allowing neighbours to actively be involved with public space.

    In January 2014, Bedford South Elementary School received approval from HRM to paint a community mural on a street in the surrounding community. The design will consist of an active living theme and promote street safety. As part of this process the Bedford South School Travel Committee has hosted four community events to brainstorm the design, engage neighbours and educate about road safety issues.

    The final community event will take place in September 2014 for the neighbourhood painting party. This project has strong messages about the importance of physical activity, road awareness and community. The School Traveling Committee has invested a lot of time and energy into the organization of these events and is looking forward to enjoying the outcome. 


    Crosswalk Flags – Road Safety Education and Awareness

    Shatford Memorial is located adjacent to the busy St. Margaret’s Bay Road. Families who cross this street daily on their way to school have expressed concern over the reduced sight lines of the crosswalk area for drivers and feel that this area has potential for pedestrian and vehicle conflict.  With this in mind, the Shatford Memorial School Travel Planning Committee has worked with local councilor, Matt Whitman, and local crosswalk safety enthusiast, Norm Collins, to implement a pilot crosswalk flag program to improve the vision of pedestrians who are using the crosswalk.

    Crosswalk Flags are a simple idea used to reduce vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. Basically, the communities place a container of flags at each end of a local crosswalk and instruct pedestrians to carry them while crossing.  Holding the flags indicate to the driver that a pedestrian intends to cross.

    As part of the arrival of the new crosswalk flags, the School Principal, Angela Comeau, refreshed the school population road and walking safety knowledge and provided a demonstration on how to properly use the crosswalk flags. The Shatford School Travel Planning Committee also created an evaluation sheet to monitor the effectiveness of the program.

    The CBC wrote about this initiative in June 2014. Click here to see their story, Hubbards elementary school tests crossing flags.


    A New Sidewalk – Improving access for families with young children

    WeeCare Development Centre became a participant of the Ecology Action Centre’s Tiny Travel Planning Program in January 2013. Tiny Travel Planning is an adapted version of the centre’s School Travel Planning Program, which uses a collaborative community based approach to improve road safety issues and promote the use of sustainable transportation.

    As part of the Tiny Travel Planning Process, WeeCare surveyed families to identify local road safety concerns and then hosted a community walkabout with traffic officials to communicate what they had learned.  One of the major areas of concerns was the main road in front of the centre (Young Street) that did not have a sidewalk. The lack of sidewalk made it difficult for centre staff and families to access/exit the centre with young children by foot because of the narrow and steep characteristics of the road.

    During the walkabout the Centre Director, Dawn MacFarlane, indicated to HRM staff that she would be willing to lose a parking stall to get a sidewalk.  Because of this process and the opportunity for HRM staff to hear from the community the city began installing a new sidewalk on Young Street this summer. The installation of this sidewalk will lead to many physical activity and field trip opportunities for children who use the centre.


    Crossing Guard Recognition

    Arnold Knickle, a crossing guard at Bridgewater Elementary (one of EAC's STP schools!) won the title of "Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard" in 2012.

  • Walking School Bus

    Students and parents talk about the benefits of walking to school in these two videos.

    Westmount Elementary's Ardmore Arrow Walking School Bus in Halifax video coverage from The 'Fax show produced by Kings College students.

    School Travel Planning: Walking School Bus video from Thrive: A Plan for a Healthier Nova Scotia

Get Involved

For more Information, contact us at:

Tel: (902) 442-0209
Fax: (902) 405-3716
Ecology Action Centre, 2705 Fern Lane, Halifax, NS B3K 4L3

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