Active School Travel Engineering: Civil Engineering students working with 17 Winnipeg schools
University of Manitoba Civil Engineering students, the City of Winnipeg and the Green Action Centre are embarking on a ground-breaking project to create Active School Travel Engineering Plans (ASTEP) at 17 Winnipeg schools.
As part of the ASTEP planning process, these civil engineering students assess the immediate area around the schools, as well as streets throughout the surrounding neighbourhood and make recommendations to the City of Winnipeg about priority areas for infrastructure improvements that could enhance the walking and cycling environment for students travelling to and from school.
Findings from the students’ neighbourhood evaluations are being communicated to parents through Community Open Houses. Further, more in-depth follow-up will take place through a series of broader community consultations that will be hosted by the Green Action Centre early in 2015.
This is a pioneering project related to active school travel. A project of this scale has never been done before in Winnipeg. Active Transportation helps to ease traffic congestion around schools and the physical activity associated with walking and biking helps children stay healthy. Healthy children are more alert and ready to learn when they get to school.
If this project is successful, it could be replicated or expanded in future years and impact more schools. Ultimately it could assist in improving the safety of children travelling actively to and from school and other important neighbourhood destinations.