How can we enable our children to walk or ride to school?

Most children in Yarra enjoy walking and cycling, and live within 1 km of a primary school or 3 km of a high school. If our streets were safe enough for children to walk or cycle to school, then parents could save the hassle of dropping them off and picking them up, which would reduce traffic for everyone. This would make Yarra better for children as well as better for drivers.

Encouraging children to engage in physical activity has the potential for profound positive impacts for their intellectual development, physical and mental health, social development and confidence, and also for the likelihood that they continue to adopt other healthy behaviours.

Heart Foundation

Yarra policy

The City of Yarra has an 0-25 Years Plan with a Strategic Priority for child and family friendly environments for walking and cycling. Unfortunately, the required infrastructure hasn’t yet been delivered.

Advocate for pedestrian and cycling friendly environments for children, young people and their families.

City of Yarra 0-25 Years Plan 2018-2022
Image credit: City of Yarra

Yarra has also adopted a Transport Strategy that includes a New Deal for Schools:

Policy 2. Implement a New Deal for Schools – support active travel by children and families. Each year, schools will be selected for the New Deals for Schools program.

City of Yarra Transport Strategy
Yarra’s Transport Strategy includes a New Deal for Schools. Image credit. City of Yarra.

What Yarra can do

Yarra can deliver a new deal for schools by:

Example of a designated parking area a short walk from school. Image credit: City of Moonee Valley.
Example of a trial of a school street. Image credit: Leyla on Twitter.

Our whole street network needs to improve

If children deserve safe routes to each school, then our entire street network needs to be safe for children, because most streets are used to get from homes to schools.

Every street in Yarra is in the catchment zone of a primary school. Image credit:, with orange outline from Streets Alive Yarra.

Improvements around each school

The following pages present proposals and recent improvements around schools:

Support from Parents’ Voice

Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Their survey shows broad community support for safe routes to school.

Video credit: Parents’ Voice

Support from the Herald Sun

The traffic situation around many Victorian primary schools is reaching crisis point…Other changes that have led to positive changes at some busy primary schools include reduction of speed limits on nearby streets and the creation of maps with safe travel routes…The safety of our children is paramount, and parents, schools and councils all have a role to play.

Herald Sun Editorial 18th July 2019

Support from VicHealth

Image credit: from VicHealth

Support from Our Children Our Schools

Community group Our Children Our Schools is also doing great work, including making submissions to the Victorian State budget, asking for increased funding for active transport to schools:

Image credit: Our Children Our Schools

Support from Safe Streets to School Australia

Community group Safe Routes to School Australia are doing great work, check out their website and sign their petition.

Guidance from Open Plans

Transportation Alternatives and Open Plans offer guidance on school streets, to offer children space to play, learn and grow:

School Streets Toolkit. Image credit: Open Plans.

Guidance from Mobycon

Mobycon, transport and urban planning consultants, offer guidance on creating child friendly school zones.

How you can help

You can help by appearing on the Streets Alive Yarra website as a champion for your local street, neighbourhood, or school.

Let’s build a beautiful, liveable and accessible city