Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Liz.
You are absolutely right that there are many barriers to walking and bicycling to school, and lack of student investment is a significant one. But when schools and communities remove some of the key legal and policy barriers that prohibit or discourage kids from walking or bicycling to school, they can better address some of the cultural and other barriers that you reference. As you imply, creating a safe route to school is not just about reducing or eliminating traffic-related hazards. It’s about taking a holistic approach to ensure kids feel safe and healthy on their daily commutes. That requires an assessment of the health impacts of all kinds of decisions with which a community grapples, ranging from big issues like where to develop new housing or site a new school to smaller ones like whether to prohibit motor vehicle idling on or adjacent to school grounds to reduce air pollution.
Our policy resources are aimed to make it easier to make healthy choices and to discourage unhealthy behavior, but it takes folks working in their communities to overcome the hurdles that impact them the most.