This week we celebrated National Walk or Bike to School Day - Oct. 9.  It’s a perfect time to encourage your kids to get in a few extra activity minutes by walking or biking to school.  It is also a perfect time to remind lawmakers that some kids in the state don’t have safe walking or biking routes to school and can’t safely incorporate this great physical activity into their day.

In celebration of National Walk or Bike to School Day send a message to your lawmakers and ask them to fund the Minnesota Safe Routes to School program in 2014.

Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program will increase physical activity among school children and decrease transportation costs. .   Investing in safe routes for biking and walking is critical to ensuring kids and adults can safely get their 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

It’s unfair to –expect and encourage children to be more physically active without providing them with an opportunity and safe environment to allow them to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. Infrastructure installed with Safe Routes to School funding is proven to reduce pedestrian and bicycle deaths and injuries. For example, adding a sidewalk cuts in half the risk that a pedestrian will be struck by a car.

And in celebration of National Walk or Bike to School Day, it is a great time to ask your lawmakers to support investing $6 million in bonding for Safe Routes to School infrastructure like sidewalks and improved street crossings.