Walk Zones

Recommended Walk Zones By School

Frequently Asked QUestions

If you have a question about walk zones, please email walkzones@k12albemarle.org.

Albemarle County Public Schools has recently decided to enforce the current walk zone distance criteria across the Division. Schools that already have walk zones are Albemarle High, Monticello High, Lakeside Middle, Hollymead Elementary and Woodbrook Elementary. Schools that will see changes due to the enforcement of the walk criteria below include Albemarle High, Henley Middle, Lakeside Middle, and Western Albemarle High. 

Walk Route Distance Criteria. Recommended school walking routes will be measured up to one half of a mile (.5)  walking distance from the student’s residence*  to the entrance to the school grounds** for elementary students. It will be measured up to one mile (1) walking distance from the student's residence to the entrance to the school grounds for secondary school. 

Three students with backpacks on walk down a sidewalk toward a school.

Additionally, elementary students residing up to one-tenth (0.1) or secondary students residing up to two-tenths (0.2) of a mile beyond a designated walk route distance may also be incorporated into that walk route distance, if doing so is considered particularly cost effective and/or efficient for the school division (such as extending the walk route distance to the end of a street or eliminating a relatively isolated bus stop). 

Special Safety Exceptions. Regardless of the distance from home to school, bus transportation shall be provided, if, in the judgement of the Division Superintendent, or designee, there is not a walking route free of unusual safety hazards. Paved walk route surfaces are not required. 

Unusual Safety Hazards. It is understood that all traffic situations through which students must travel present some degree of hazard, which is often dependent on the age of the students. We will recommend walking routes free from “unusual safety hazards.” Unusual safety hazards are those things that may seriously jeopardize the safety of students. Just like evaluating bus stops, each walking path has distinct characteristics. Some examples of unusual hazards could be railroad crossings, lack of a crossing guard on a highly used main road, or seclusion of the pathway. A very large hill or a very sharp curve that prevents cars from seeing walkers could also be an unusual hazard. 

Parent/Guardian Responsibility. ACPS will recommend walking routes to and from school. Ultimately, families/parents are responsible for monitoring their children’s routes to and from school. Parents/guardians are also responsible for providing supervision that is appropriate for the student’s age, maturity and conditions of the chosen route. On school bus transportation, ACPS requires adult supervision for Kindergarten and pre-k students, as a reminder.  

ACPS staff does not assess all possible walking and bicycling routes, supervise those routes, or guarantee the safety of any particular route. However, ACPS will review routes for unusual hazards upon request and will collaborate with other agencies in the development of pedestrian and biking route enhancements and projects as appropriate.

Transportation may be provided on a conditional basis to an area based on the need for additional improvements to walking routes such as sidewalk completion, railings, crossing guards, etc. 

*The measurement will consider the end of a driveway or the perimeter of a property when measuring, particularly in cases of rural housing. The measurement does not begin at the front door of a property. We will incorporate the distance to current bus stops when it is particularly efficient to do so. 

**The measurement will end at the start of the school property/grounds. The measurement does not continue to the front door of the school.