We are very saddened by the recent news of Deb Hubsmith’s passing. Hubsmith founded the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the organization under which Safe Routes Philly was founded, and served as its director for nine years. She was a dedicated advocate for walking and cycling at the local, state, and national level.
Hubsmith’s work has influenced me tremendously. As the Safe Routes Philly coordinator, I know how important it is to encourage kids to began living healthy and active lives at a young age. Walking or riding a bicycle to school can significantly increase a child’s daily amount of physical activity. With obesity and diabetes rates on the rise in youth, walking and biking encouragement is important because they are lifelong forms of activities in which kids can be involved.
There has been a steady decline in walking and biking to school nationwide since the late 60s. Trends such as this are what prompted advocates like Hubsmith to educate and encourage children and families on the importance of active transportation in developing a healthy and safe community.
I am forever grateful for what Hubsmith has done to improve conditions for children to live safe and active lives. Her work inspires me and countless others to push that much harder.
– Waffiyyah Murray