Walk & Bike To School Day

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

I can't believe I blew this off, but today (October 5) is Walk & Bike to School Day. Communities around the United States and around the world are participating in this event to enhance the health our children, to improve air quality and the environment, and to help create safer routes for cycling and walking.

Portland Oregon's Bicycle Transportation Alliance put good energy into their local effort, with the State of Oregon Epidemiologist showing up to talk up the health benefits of cycling to school.

Tosser reports from Kootenai, Idaho. This grandmother writes that she "was one of the lucky ones to walk with the kids" as a volunteer. "Nothing lifts the spirit like watching kids having fun."

Locally, my city doesn't officially participate in Walk To School Day, but we do have a pilot program in place at two schools to encourage human travel to school that we call "Walk & Roll". We hope to expand that through the city next year and then perhaps throughout the entire school district after that. <brag>My son walks, bikes, or rollerblades half a mile to his school every school day.</brag>

Walk & Bike to school day began in Chicago to promote much-needed physical activity and a safer walking and bicycling environment with less traffic and better air quality. With only 13 percent of American school children currently walking or biking to school, Walk and Bike to School Day offers parents and schools resources to encourage and increase the number of children who walk or bike to school.

Other participating communities include Grand Rapids, MI; Cincinnati, OH; Green Bay, WI; Billings, MT; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Searcy, AR; and many, many other cities across the U.S.

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A friend had her kid walk to school one day when he missed the bus. It's about a mile. She got a phone call saying if he walked in again she would be getting a call from CPS, because she's endangering her child.
No wonder we have such fat kids.
My wife walks our kids to school everyday. The distance is less than a mile and others in our neighborhood always make positive comments about the practice. I have heard people say things like "it is so great that you get out and do that everyday, I wish I could". The good news is that a few more parents are starting to walk their kids to our school; yet another benefit of higher gas prices.
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