Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
Traveling PublicMapsProjectsRoad ClosuresNewsDoing BusinessLetting & BiddingCareers@IDOTGeneral Info

2011 International Walk to School Day
October 5, 2011

International Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 5. This year marks the 15th annual Walk to School Day. The event is organized by the National Safe Routes to School Program. Details and resources related to the event are available online at

Statewide the event is sponsored by the Illinois Safe Routes to School Program and IDOT’s Green Initiative.

The event aims to encourage safer and improved routes to school, healthier habits, and environmental concern.

Schools that plan to participate in the event are encouraged to spend time instructing students on pedestrian and bicycle safety prior to the Oct. 5 International Walk to School Day. Information on pedestrian and bicycle safety is available through IDOT’s website at

More than 30 cities throughout Illinois have already organized Walk to School Day events for Oct. 5. Here is a link to schools that have registered an event on the International Walk to School Day website:

International Walk to School Day originated in Chicago in 1997 as National Walk our Children to School Day. The intent of the original walk to school day was to create community awareness about making it safe for children to walk to school.

The first International Walk to School Day was 2000 when the United Kingdom and Canada joined the United States in participation. Legislation was passed in 2005 that provided $612 million in funding for the National Center for Safe Routes to School to improve the safety of pedestrian and bike routes to school. The 2010 International Walk to School Day had 3,500 registered events and included Puerto Rico for the first time.

The slogan for the 2011 International Walk to School Day is “Hike it. Bike it. I like it!” The slogan was submitted by Horace Mann Elementary School in Oak Park and chosen via an online vote.

Contact IDOT at or (815) 434-8520 with any questions about the event.



Mayor Daley participates in the first Walk to School Day in Chicago (1997)

The first National Walk Our Children to School Day was held in Chicago in 1997 and included Mayor Richard M. Daley (center).
- Photo by Jim Peterson

School administrators participating in International Walk to School Day should CLICK HERE to obtain a form that will help IDOT keep track of Illinois schools participating in IWTSD on October 5.

Press Coverage

“Columnist encourages parents, students to walk to school” — Naperville Sun (Sept. 19, 2011)

“Schools gear up for walk and roll to school day” — Elmhurst Trib Local (Sept. 19, 2011)

“Students walking to school Oct. 5” — Morris Daily Herald (Sept. 21, 2011)

"Evanston, Skokie gear up for International Walk to School Day” — The Daily Northwestern (Sept. 28, 2011)

Walk this way at Ridgewood Elementary” — Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus (Sept. 30, 2011)

“Kids invited to 'hike it, bike it' Wednesday” — Carmi Times (Oct. 2, 2011)

Arcola to participate in ‘Walk to School Day” — Charleston Times-Courier/Mattoon Journal Gazette (Oct. 3, 2011)

IDOT Privacy Statement | Illinois Privacy Information | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility  | FOIA