Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Jan. 29 2024

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MnDOT encourages schools, communities to join Winter Walk to School Day Feb. 7

ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 60 Minnesota schools and hundreds of students are expected to participate in Minnesota’s Winter Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The annual event, sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School, encourages students and parents to celebrate the fun of walking while increasing their physical activity, reducing traffic congestion around schools, and practicing pedestrian and bicycle safety skills.

“Many schools across the state are struggling to hire bus drivers and are expanding their walk zones to address the gap,” said Kelly Corbin, MnDOT SRTS coordinator. “Winter Walk to School Day is a way to celebrate those students who need or want to walk to school. Walking to school is a great chance for kids to enjoy winter and the crunch of the snow under their boots while spending quality time with a parent, friend, or their classmates during a walk this February.”

Motorists can help keep kids safe by stopping for people crossing at every corner, even those without marked crosswalks or stop lights, especially during school arrival and dismissal times. When driving through a school zone, slow down, scan the road for people walking and be alert for students.

Schools are invited to submit stories and photos to saferoutes.dot@state.mn.us by Feb. 16 to compete for the annual Golden Snow Boot Award. 

Winter Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to consider the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods because children walk and bike to other community destinations like playgrounds, libraries, parks and more. Keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice, especially at corners, helps make communities safer and more accessible to children and families going for a walk.

Minnesota Safe Routes to School provides resources and grants to advance SRTS programs through planning, bike/walk education curriculum and support for improving infrastructure on routes to school. The SRTS website also provides interested schools with more information about annual Walk to School days, including a toolkit to help plan an event.