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Making Tracks: Active & Safe Routes to School – Walking, Cycling, In-line Skating and Skateboarding


The end of March 2009 marked the successful wrap-up to a year-long pilot of an innovative new Active Safe Routes to School initiative called Making Tracks (MT), and in 2009-2010 the program experienced many more successes. Launched in April of 2008, MT was created to provide hands-on, experiential active transportation skills training to children and youth in the province; training that up until that time had been essentially unavailable. Making Tracks focuses on four transportation modes: walking, cycling, in-line skating and skateboarding. Following a “train the trainer” approach, older youth and/or adults learn the skills needed to teach other children and youth. Rather than a one-off training session, the program is offered over multiple sessions to allow participants to hone and build on their skills. Response to the pilot was exceptional. More than 430 children and youth participated in five walking, three cycling and six skateboarding modules through schools and recreation centres (with distribution divided equally between schools and recreation centres; seven sessions at each across the province). Participant response to the program was wholly positive, with 75% saying they would use active transportation more after their training. Ninety-two percent also stated that they knew more about active transportation safety after the program, and 100% of Youth Mentors felt they could find safe routes for children after participating in Making Tracks. In 2009-2010, over 700 more children and youth took part in the program. Thanks to a three-year funding commitment from the NS Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Making Tracks continues to offer crucial safety skills education to children and youth.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Dr. Andrew Foran
Cheyenne Dickinson
Janet Barlow
Dr. Dan Robinson
Zac Crouse
Jennifer McGowan
Transportation planning