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Safe Routes to School | Ever heard of a Walking School Bus? Our neighbors at Bailey Gatzert Elementary have one, and you can too. 

Bailey Gatzert Elementary School Walking School Bus.  

Thanks to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, students at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School in the Central District participate in a Walking School Bus to get to school. 

Several young students walk to school. Most students are wearing backpacks, and walking along a path and dried grass, under large trees. The school building is visible in the background.
Bailey Gatzert Elementary School Walking School Bus 

Read the story from Central Seattle Greenways here. 

What is a walking school bus? A walking school bus is one tool in the Safe Routes to School toolbox where a group of students walk to school with one or more adults. Walking school buses help students get to school on time, reduce pollution and congestions near schools, and connect neighbors to each other. A walking school bus doesn’t have to be complicated! You can form your own walking school bus with just one other family, or it can be more structured. Learn more. 

Central Seattle Greenways received a grant from SDOT and worked with Bailey Gatzert staff to form the walking school buses in March 2020, shortly before schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once students were back at school in person, the walking school buses built back up again and there are now 3 walking school bus routes and about 25 students participate each morning! 

You can create your own walking school bus. If you need help, get in touch

Several students and adults walk toward a large school building. The students are wearing backpacks and walking along a sidewalk on a cloudy day.
Bailey Gatzert Elementary School Walking School Bus 

You can start by reaching out to another family to see if they want to trade off walking to school. Or you can start with one day a week and grow it from there. Families at Wing Luke Elementary in South Beacon Hill are doing Walking Wednesdays along an organized route each week.   

Here’s how we can support: 

  • We offer mini-grants to fund schools, Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs), and community groups to encourage safe walking and biking to school. 
  • We fund a Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator position at Seattle Public Schools so if you’d like some individual support, you can contact Sara Colling at
  • If your school needs supplies, the Safe Routes to School Program is now offering 10 different program packages that support walking and biking to school. One of the packages specifically supports Walking School Buses and comes with clip-on lights, safety vests, hand-held flags, and first aid kits. Please visit webpage to learn more and to place a request for any of these new packages. 

Learn more about walking school buses:

We recently repaired a sidewalk near Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, which will further support kids in safe walking, rolling, and biking to school.  

SDOT Director Greg Spotts had a chance to visit Assistant Principal Red and check out construction! 

We’ll be making more safety improvements near Bailey Gatzert Elementary School starting this year at the intersection of 12th Ave and Yesler Way, which the Walking School Bus crosses. This will include a raised bus stop near the school, as well as signal improvements and new protected bike lanes!

As part of the Levy to Move Seattle, we are completing at least one project at every public school in Seattle and building new sidewalks where there were none before. 

The Safe Routes to School program is focused on schools in areas that have received less investment in the past. Since 2016, we have completed 36 projects at schools across Seattle. Our goal is to complete one project at every public school by the end of the Levy, in 2024!  

Also thanks to the Levy, we’ve been able to contribute more time and resources towards improving our sidewalks. We have built over 200 blocks of sidewalks since 2016 in places where there were none before.