Newton Safe Routes to School (SRTS) works to promote walking, biking, and taking the bus to school through encouragement, education, infrastructure improvements, and safety enforcement. Our goal is to create a healthy community for everyone.

January 2022

Dear Newton Community,


We are seeing more families driving their kids to school during this COVID surge, and an increase in risky behavior around our schools - both from drivers and pedestrians. We are all responsible for the safety of our kids. Let’s take this responsibility seriously and avoid serious crashes between cars and people.


Pedestrians should cross the street at the safest place, the crosswalk. This includes student who arrive by car. Cross with a crossing guard if there is one.


Teach Your Child How to Cross the Street Safely (page 2)

Tips for Teens & Tweens


If you’re driving, try to park and walk or consider carpooling. Use these maps to find a safe place to park and have your child walk with you, without you (if they are able) or with a buddy to school. Park only where it is legal and safe and walk safely on sidewalks, using crosswalks. Remember that you and your child become pedestrians once you get out of your car.

Look out for pedestrians - especially in crosswalks. Kids are still learning the rules of the road. People on feet always have the right of way. Be sure you follow all posted signs around our schools, including where you can park, avoiding idling and following the rules of the Blue Zone. Remember, if you use the Blue Zone, you may not get out of the car to assist your child, and they must get out of the car on the curb side of the car.


Drivers, Do Your Part in Making Crossing the Street Safer (page 1)

Our kids’ safety is our priority. Be a role model, our kids are watching. Let’s all make safe choices.

Sincerely,

Newton Safe Routes to School Task Force

Reminder - the revised snow ordinance includes a fine if you do not remove snow or ice from your sidewalk. Click here to learn more.

Winter WALK - ROLL - BIKE - BUS Day on 2/2/22

Will you walk, roll, bike or bus? Choose what works for your family to celebrate Winter Walk this year! Held annually, this event brings together students across the Commonwealth in celebrating winter and health.

How to be a bike-friendly driver

Wondering about the new pavement markings around Newton, how to best prevent crashes, and what rights cyclists have? Massachusetts Safe Routes to School has a fabulous new flyer with tips for drivers and people on bikes.

Consider Walking or Biking

For those who live close enough to walk or bike to school, take some time before school starts to find and practice the route. Look for crosswalks, stoplights, and quieter streets.

  • Join with neighbors and others on your route to set up a Walking School Bus.

  • Find your PTO website and join your PTO Directory to connect with others you could walk or bike with.

  • Park & Walk maps identify crossing guard locations, "blue zone" vehicle drop-off areas, and suggested areas to park and walk over to the school. If you live too far to walk the whole way, consider parking further from the school and walking the last 15 minutes.

  • Look for an email from your principal with detailed information on arrival and dismissal procedures. Additional doors may be open to enable physical distancing on the way into school.

  • Need help finding a route? Email NewtonSafeRoutes @ gmail.com for help.

Walking and biking can boost students’ health, physical activity, and even their concentration in school. Many students will benefit from a chance to move their bodies before entering into a school environment that is more physically structured than before.

Secondary Schools

We have created transportation resource pages for each of the high schools and middle schools with bus routes, bike routes, and trails. Bike Newton plans to offer Bike Route Previews of routes to middle schools this spring. Stay tuned.

Education, Encouragement, Engagement, Evaluation, Engineering, Equity. Click here to see what the Task Force does in each of these areas.

Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. Almost all students are pedestrians at some point in their routes to and from school. Tips for pedestrians and drivers on how to #ShareTheRoad.

May is National Bike Month

There's never been a quieter time in Newton for a bike ride. This is also a good time to help your child find a bike route to school on calm streets. Make sure your child's bike fits their body (a good article on bicycle sizing) and that you help them check ABC's before they head out (helpful video). And don't forget a properly fitted and adjusted helmet (good guide here). Happy biking!

Crossing Guard and Bus/Van Driver Appreciation Day: Friday June 11, 2021

Newton's bus and van drivers and crossing guards were among the many unsung heroes of the school year. They demonstrated flexibility and resilience as school times and bus routes changed and COVID cases went up and down in our community, and made sure our children got to school safely.

Newton Safe Routes to School Task Force organized a day of appreciation city-wide on June 11. Thanks to the Newton PTO Council for donating the Safety Superhero buttons and many of you for your donations for the event.

It's not too late, you can still take a moment to help your child write a card or special note to their crossing guard or bus/van driver to let them know how much they are appreciated.

Turn off your engine if you'll be waiting more than 10 seconds. Protect children's health and the environment.

What is a Blue Zone? Is it the right choice for your family?

Drivers, Pedestrians and Cyclists, with the end of Daylight Savings Time, slow down, look around, and BE SAFE BE SEEN.

Broken light? Fallen branch? Unshoveled sidewalk? No sidewalk at all? Learn more about how you can help make your child's route safer.

COVID 19 - Weekly Walk Challenge

Week #1. Basic: Over the course of the week, find doors that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Remember their locations. Challenge: Now plan, and go on, a longer walk where you find them all in rainbow order. Extra Challenge: Now go on a walk where you find them all in REVERSE rainbow order.

More weekly challenges here: Google Doc

Contact us at NewtonSafeRoutes@gmail.com.
Follow us on Facebook at @NewtonSafeRoutes.

Newton is celebrating Winter Walk & Roll Week February 8-12. Pick a day or two and walk or roll to school a park, or around your home or neighborhood.

Here are some other ways to participate. Download the packet for materials.

· Decorate a paper boot and hang it in your window. Look for other boots on your walks.

· Play Winter Walk BINGO from Massachusetts Safe Routes to School or “I Spy”.

· Practice Walking like a Penguin, https://youtu.be/LHaWGibGwyk