Sidewalk Stompers powers community building and safer pedestrian pathways via school-based walking programs and public advocacy. Sidewalk Stompers is a volunteer organization focused on making it safer for children to get to school by building a larger community commitment to pedestrian traffic.
Sidewalk Stompers launched its Walk to School Wednesday program in spring 2016 at Roosevelt Elementary School. Students walking or biking to school on these days enter a raffle for prizes donated by area businesses; accompanying parents are welcomed with donated coffee. Student participation in these events has more than doubled; the first Wednesday of the 2017-18 school year saw almost a third of the student body arriving on foot. Children are learning the benefits of walking to school: 1) the safety benefits of being part of a group and of reduced traffic; 2) the health benefits of making physical activity a habit and preparing students for learning; 3) the social benefits of connecting with parents, friends, and neighbors through shared activity; and 4) the environmental benefits of reducing traffic to improve air quality around their school.
“We’re working to increase sensitivity to, and accountability for, the (preventable!) hazards walkers face on a daily basis.”
— Tim scheu, co-FOUNDER
High participation rates in Walk to School Wednesdays have allowed the Sidewalk Stompers to advocate for better safety infrastructure with traffic engineering officials. The Roosevelt school zone and primary walking routes now have new and updated crosswalks and safety signage.
Sidewalk Stompers is building on these accomplishments by increasing student and volunteer participation in the Roosevelt Elementary School community, enacting outreach programs to other schools and neighborhoods to aid more students and more communities in effectively advocating for school zone safety infrastructure improvements, and continuing to work with planning officials to better address pedestrian safety needs when updating roads.
Sidewalk Stompers is filling a gap between macro-level planning and neighborhood-specific needs by focusing on the under-served underage students of our community.
Sidewalk Stompers promotes a healthy, pedestrian-friendly, and safe Tampa Bay by encouraging walking and supporting the development of walking infrastructure.
The number of Roosevelt Elementary students that depend upon fitness opportunities and safe pathways to and from school.
Tampa Bay's place in a national ranking of "most dangerous US Metros for Pedestrians." 51 pedestrians were killed in 2015.
If you're a parent at Roosevelt Elementary, try to make walking a more regular part of your routine. If you see a pedestrian hazard in South Tampa, take a picture and share it on the Sidewalk Stompers' Facebook page. And generally, help us socialize the idea that a more pedestrian-friendly South Tampa is a healthier, safer, and more livable South Tampa.