A new initiative aimed at getting Maltese schoolchildren walking has launched in Naxxar, with arrows and outlines drawn onto the pavement to guide children to school.
The campaign, organised by the Project Aegle Foundation (PAF), a voluntary organisation working within the local realm of sustainable mobility, launched the Walking Routes to the Naxxar Primary School, in collaboration with the school and the Naxxar Local Council, as part of Safe Routes to School pilot project.
“Being able to safely walk to school in a cleaner, greener community is every child’s right and the very vision of this project.” Camille Bon, PAF lead manager, said as part of the project.
The project aims to promote walking to school as a form of daily exercise and as an alternative to private cars.
A network of streets within a 1km radius around the school has been identified as walking routes for children and parents to use daily. Targeting students excluded from free public transport in order to reduce the use of private vehicles around the school, the three paths were brought to life with colourful floor markings on the pavement and signage to create more awareness on active travel for short-distance trips.
During the launch, four classes of Year 4 students walked the three routes, with their teachers and representatives from PAF, Camille Bon, Perit and Urban Planner, and Steve Montebello who supported PAF throughout the project.
They were joined by Naxxar Mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami, Executive Secretary, Paul Gatt, Councillor responsible for Transport Noel Gatt and School Head Teacher Renzo Galea.
The day continued with a sustainable transportation activity organised in the school front garden, where children could ride their 2-wheels in a traffic playground featuring traffic lights, road signs, road markers and a pavement.
Following this launch, PAF hopes to expand this to the wider Naxxar community as well as other localities.
They also proposed creating the first Crossing Guards Patrol (known as lollipop officers) to improve traffic safety around the School.
Would you like to see something like this in your hometown?