NIPAWIN — Nipawin council has passed the first phase of a plan aimed at getting citizens to walk and bike more often.
“All we’ve done right now is designated the safe routes to try and get kids walking to school or biking to school on the safest route possible,” said Derek Seckinger, the staff member working on the town’s active community plan.
Before council voted to adopt the safe routes at its May 28 meeting, there were none in the town. A study conducted with local families in 2015 showed parents didn’t feel their children were safe walking to school.
An in-motion committee made up of representatives of the parks and recreation department, Wagner Elementary, Central Park Elementary, Nipawin RCMP, the fire department, KidsFirst and the health authority developed the safe routes.
Seckinger said there’s plans to walk with elementary students to show them these routes.
“We’re going to get the routes out as soon as possible before the end of the school year and really push for them at the start of the next year,” he said.
There are plans to mark the safe routes with signage, repair existing sidewalks and build new sidewalks, but much of that will require money in future budgets.
“It’s a start in trying to get the community active,” Seckinger said. “We just want people to get out and get moving.”