NATOMAS (CBS13) – Kids at three Natomas elementary schools were encouraged to walk to school Wednesday, not only in connection with a national “Get Moving” campaign, but also to showcase major pedestrian and traffic safety improvements.

By doubling the width of the sidewalks and adding more crosswalks and speed bumps, officials hope kids trade in the school bus for their walking shoes.

A few hundred students are said to walk to Bannon Creek Elementary daily, but with new pedestrian and traffic upgrades, city officials hope that number more than doubles.

“It’s exercise and they built new sidewalks,” one student said as she walked to school Wednesday.

The upgrades will also help offset budget cuts to school busses and hopefully limit pedestrian-involved accidents and drop-off congestion around school zones.

There are also incentive-driven punch cards that school officials hope will help keep kids hooked on hikes and bikes.

Improvement projects at all three schools costs about $2 million, funded mostly through federal and taxpayer dollars.

Most of the improvements were done over the summer break. However, work at Jefferson Elementary is expected to wrap up sometime this month.


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