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Is higher school neighbourhood Walk Score associated with greater child pedestrian safety near schools?
  1. Linda Rothman1,2,
  2. Brent E Hagel3,
  3. Andrew William Howard4,
  4. Naomi Schwartz1,
  5. Marie Soleil Cloutier5,
  6. Alison K Macpherson6
  1. 1 School of Occupational and Public Health, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Paediatrics, Univ of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4 Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5 Centre Urbanisation Culture Société, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  6. 6 York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Linda Rothman, School of Occupational and Public Health, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; linda.rothman{at}


Walk Score is a common index used to estimate how suitable the built environment is for walking. Although Walk Score has been extensively validated as a measure of walkability and walking, there are limited studies examining whether commonly used constructs of walkability are associated with traffic safety in children. This study examined the association between Walk Score and child pedestrian injury controlling for observed walking exposure in school zones in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Results indicate that a higher Walk Score was associated with more child pedestrian injuries in all three cities, even after controlling for walking exposure. School travel planning should consider established individual pedestrian collision risk and individual factors rather than assuming a highly walkable environment is also a safe pedestrian environment.

  • Child
  • Pedestrian
  • Environmental Modification
  • Cross Sectional Study

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  • Contributors LR was responsible for the conceptual framework and design, analysis and interpretation, and writing and editing of the manuscript. NS contributed to the analysis, conceptual framework and critical editing of the manuscript. BH, AH, MSC and AM contributed to the conceptual framework and design, and critical editing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.