House Concurrent Resolution No. 34



            Whereas, the health and safety of our children is of highest concern to the citizens of Missouri; and


            Whereas, promoting safe and healthful walking and bicycling to school is important to Missouri students, parents, and teachers, and has been shown to improve student's health and academic performance; and


            Whereas, hundreds of children could be saved from harm each year if communities take steps to make pedestrian safety a priority; and


            Whereas, driving students to school by private vehicle contributes to traffic congestion and air pollution, creating over 25% of community traffic at the beginning and end of each school day; and


            Whereas, lack of physical activity plays a leading role in rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems among children, and walking or bicycling to school offers an opportunity to build healthful physical activity into a child's daily routine; and


            Whereas, the number of children walking and bicycling to school has decreased dramatically in recent years, with less than 10% of students walking or bicycling to school now compared to 50% just 30 years ago; and


            Whereas, the MoDOT Safe Routes to School program is helping dozens of Missouri communities make the neighborhoods near their schools safer and more inviting for walking and bicycling, and developing programs to encourage parents and students to walk and bicycle to school; and


            Whereas, an important role for parents and caregivers is to teach children about pedestrian safety and become aware of the difficulties and dangers that children face on their trips to school each day and the health and environmental risks related to physical inactivity and air pollution; and


            Whereas, community members and leaders should make a plan to make immediate changes to enable children to safely walk and bicycle in our communities and develop a list of suggestions for improvements that can be done over time; and


            Whereas, children, parents, and community leaders around the world are joining together to walk to school and evaluate walking and bicycling conditions in their communities; and


            Whereas, Walk and Bicycle to School Month in October and Walk and Bicycle to School Week the first week in October have proven to be helpful in encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school and in creating and promoting local Safe Route to Schools programs across the United States and throughout the world:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fourth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby recognize the month of October 2008 as "Walk and Bicycle to School Month", the week of October 6-10, 2008, as "Walk and Bicycle to School Week", and October 8, 2008, as "Walk and Bicycle to School Day" in Missouri; and


            Be it further resolved that the General Assembly urges all students, parents, teachers, administrators, schools, and school districts to participate in these events.