Union Leader: NH Voices: Gail Garceau — With school out, we need safe routes for children

WITH SCHOOLS SOON to be out for the summer, it’s important for us all to remember to be on heightened alert for young children while driving — particularly through areas where kids will be traveling to get to parks and playgrounds.

Unfortunately, walking and bicycling routes to playgrounds often have safety gaps that make it dangerous for kids to be able to reach their favorite places to play.

You may have noticed these spots near where you live . These hazard spots are where sidewalks are missing, or at dangerous street crossings that put young children in the way of cars.

We hear a lot about kids getting outside less and getting less physical activity. But one seldom-recognized factor in this is that over the last 50 years most community transportation infrastructure improvements have been designed to more safely accommodate cars, but often not pedestrians or bicycles.

As a result, the parents or caregivers of children who’d like to walk to school or the neighborhood park or a playground are worried about them being hit by a car — and understandably so.

A recently completed project funded by the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation and conducted by the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission addressed this problem in Hillsborough. The grant supported one of the foundation’s funding priorities, preventing childhood obesity. Read more on UnionLeader.com.