AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s that time of year, traffic is heavy, and a lot of kids are out and about for school. The new school year is a great time for parents to practice walking and biking safety.

When you live in an area growing as rapidly as Austin, you should use extreme caution as families walk and bike around school zones.

“There are a lot of changes happening. A lot of new teachers and new principals at schools as well. They’re trying to figure out the best dismissal patterns. And sometimes they change from school year to school year,” Austin Safe Routes to School Program Manager Coleen Gentles said.

Safe Routes to School engages with the community, school administrators and PTAs to educate families about how to safely walk, bike or scoot to school. It also runs an infrastructure program.

“[The program] is actually building out the sidewalks and curb ramps and pedestrian islands around the elementary and middle schools to actually provide safe infrastructure to get you walking and biking to school safely,” Gentles said.

The program is in charge of building shared-use paths, including space for walkers and cyclists. The program also installs flashing school zone signs in an attempt to alert drivers

“They’re flashing for a reason. It’s the actual arrivals and dismissals of the students. So we’re really asking for folks to be mindful about that,” Gentles said.

Safe Routes to School is also constructing pedestrian islands, curb extensions and new curb ramps at multiple schools around Austin.