Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walk+Bike to School Day Inspires Reporter

Statesman Journal Education reporter Stefanie Knowlton wrote yesterday
Only four out of Salem-Keizer’s 65 schools signed up for International Walk to School Day Wednesday. And two of them already pulled out. “People aren’t into it for some reason,” said David Lemons, the PE teacher at Salem Heights, one of the two remaining schools. “I don’t understand it,” he said, “to me it’s a no brainer.”
About one Salem school, B+ noted the changes:
I have a friend who works in another elementary school here in Salem who saw a picture of that school taken back in the 1970’s. The bike racks are crammed full. Today, that same school (still in a neighborhood with many children, and with few major changes in streets or driving conditions) has a much smaller bike rack that rarely has many bikes in it at all. Her explanation: a combination of the psychology of fear, increased sedentation, and the perception that bicycling is for “poor kids.” So, now, each day there is a major traffic snarl around the school while many parents transport their children a few blocks to and from home.
So Stefanie's taking action - and for a longer distance no less!
Go Stephanie!

Look in the paper for an update at the end of her day of riding.

Green Apple Community Ride on Winter St via Flickr
Over at the Green Apple blog, Jeremy has a wrap about last Saturday's events and writes "About 50 kids and 20 or so adults attended the Bike Rodeo for bike tune-ups, safety class, and skills course. Later that morning about 40 kids and 20 or so adults took the 2 1/2 - 3 mile community bike ride from Grant Community School to McKinley."

Sounds like a nice event!

What happened at your school?

Thursday follow-up:

On the SJ education blog (unfortunately not in the blurb on the front of today's Mid-Valley section!), Stefanie writes that the experience far exceeded her expectations:

[a brief stretch of walking bikes up a hill] gave Alex a chance to pocket a few acorns. You can’t do that in the car. Next we zoomed down the 12th street hill. “Woohoo,” I yelled and Alex yelled, too.

We cut over on Hines Street and stopped for a train. That’s one thing that doesn’t change. Alex spotted a few train engines we never noticed before...

What a great morning. It made me realize that all those fears that kept me from biking (it’s too far, the cars are too close, too many hills or we’ll go too fast downhill), were unfounded.

I felt safe and in control the whole time, and Alex had the biggest grin when I leaned in and told him how proud I was that he biked to school today.

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