JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians might notice more neighborhood foot traffic as students participate in International Walk to School Day on Oct. 8. The Missouri Department of Transportation encourages parents and communities to help children establish ongoing walking and cycling programs."The physical fitness benefits are obvious. What's interesting is, if more children walked or bicycled to school, fewer cars would be nearby at pick-up and drop-off locations, making it safer for walkers and bicyclists," said Safe Routes to School Coordinator Jeff Cremer. "Fewer vehicles also result in fewer air pollutants. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality." To help ensure safety, participants can go to http://maps.walkbiketoschool.org/ to map a safe route to school. Families who live farther from school can drive part of the way and join the walk along the designated route.MoDOT oversees the Safe Routes to School program, which is a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation that provides children in grades K-8 with education, training and infrastructure for bicycling and walking to school safely. The program is designed to provide public awareness and outreach to encourage walking and bicycling to school, instead of riding in cars and buses.Is the event at your school on the national list? Find out by visiting http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/. There you can learn more about how your community benefits when students walk and bike to school.