MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) While kids may not be thinking about returning to school just yet, Monterey County is already taking creative steps to improve students' commute. Alongside local volunteers and the Monterey County Health Department, the county's Transportation Agency (TAMC) has launched an initiative to improve the health and safety of the community - starting with local students' walk to school.
This past Monday, volunteers from around Greenfield took to the sidewalks to paint colorful decals along the walking routes leading to the city's elementary school. The different routes, nicknamed "Walking School Buses" and "Park & Walk" by the TAMC represent two different programs that will officially start up in the fall of 2021. The programs' aim to encourage community members to drive less, and in turn, walk more. Walking School Buses refer to a group of students that will walk to and from school together under the supervision of an adult. Alternatively, Park & Walk routes are an option where families can drive part of the way to school and then walk the remainder of the distance.
In the months leading up to the start of these programs, families in Soledad, Greenfield and Gonzales are invited to learn the routes by taking part in the "Summer Walking Challenge". Instructions for the challenge as well as route maps for each respective city can be found at saferoutesmonterey.org. Those who participate in the challenge will be entered into drawings to win bikes and scooters. More walks on the route equal more entries in the drawings.
The Summer Walking Challenge is supplemental to TAMC's larger "Safer Routes to School Program", information for which can be acquired by contacting TAMC Senior Transportation Planner, Ariana Green. Green can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 831-775-4403.
For those who wish to help with the efforts of decorating local sidewalks, the painting of the walking routes will resume on June 10th in Soledad and on June 11th in Gonzales - both at 9:30 AM.