#StreetsR4Families: Walk/Bike to School Day Is Easy

October 28, 2014 - storage organizer

The Walking Bus that left a parking lot during St. Andrews. Not a lot of walking. Photo: Marybeth Newton

The Walking Bus that left a parking lot during St. Andrews. Not a lot of walking. Photo: Marybeth Newton

This Walktober, a record eighty-five schools in a City of Los Angeles participated in LADOT’s “Walk to School Day” Program. The sum series lilliputian those of past years, as some-more and some-more schools are actively enlivening students to travel to school.

Richland Elementary School, where my son is now enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten, was one of those new schools (although we weren’t orderly by Oct 8, a central “Walk to School Day”). We hold a initial “Walk/Bike to School Day” final Friday and were impressed by a response.

Here’s a best part: interjection to LADOT’s involvement, it was unequivocally easy to module a day. we traded dual emails with a principal, Mr. G., filled out a form during Walk to School Day L.A., recruited 5 other relatives to assistance on a day of, and we were prepared to go. LADOT brought banners, treats (donated CLIF Kids Bars), and take-home materials. They also contacted a LAPD to let them know what was going on.

When we initial approached a principal, he was excited, though we did giggle that “there’s literally one child that bikes to school” during Richland. We weren’t including my kid, who is forsaken off on a bike, though who doesn’t bike himself on many days.

The school, located in a heart of a North Westdale Community, is mainly located and has a healthy apportionment of students who do arrive on foot. So, we knew we had a bottom to work with.

But Richland also has a lot of students who arrive from outward a area. So, we came adult with some skeleton to make a Walk/Bike to School Day a tiny different. The internal church, that only happens to be a one we attend on (most) Sundays, authorised us to use their parking lot as a “Kiss and Walk/Bike” for anyone who wanted to participate. Since a propagandize threw in a task pass, there was even some-more inducement to participate.

Mr. G came adult with a genuine climax valuables for a event. He led a bike debate of a campus drift during morning recess for any kids who arrived on people-powered wheels. The kindergartners rolled in a tiny round around a play structure. The comparison kids took advantage of a whole parcel of land. For a propagandize where one child bikes to school, examination scarcely a hundred kids use their recess to float with a principal was truly a steer to behold.

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Sammy holding his bike debate with Mr. G. Photo: Damien Newton

When we walked over to a church Friday morning, we took a integrate of walking train signs with me. But, about 10 mins before a travel was scheduled to begin, there were dual kids, both with parents, removing their bikes ready. Then Mr. G pulled adult with his towering bike. Then dual area kids uncover adult on Xootrs. Another mom and daughter, another pinkish bike. Before we knew what was happening, there were scarcely dual dozen kids, all with wheels. None prepared to walk. Taking a cue, Marybeth ran home and grabbed a bikes and off we rode.

When we got to school, dual volunteers were out front removing kids to pointer a pointer observant their participation. There were so many kids walking past (with and though bikes or other wheels) that it seemed that a volunteers competence not be removing everyone. we know Sammy missed a ensign signing, though a principal still gave him a task pass.

In a end, after being a parent-organizer for a successful Walk/Bike to School Day, there are 3 lessons we learned.

First, a new website and programming by LADOT make a eventuality easy to organize. Just collect a date in Oct and/or April, let them know around a website, and follow their easy instruction list.

One kid. One kids bikes to propagandize regularly. This was one of 3 bike storage areas on Friday

One kid. One child bikes to propagandize regularly. This was one of 3 bike storage areas on Friday

Second, don’t blink a implicit direct for protected walking and bicycling comforts and programming. We were disturbed that few people would take partial other than a kids that were already walking (and a one child that was biking). In 2013, 61% of a organizers indicated that they suspicion their students did some-more earthy activity on a day of their Walk to School Day eventuality than on a standard day. we would theory that series will be aloft for this year.

Last, while support days are great, there is still a need for improved infrastructure. Anecdotally, about half of a relatives in a lot for a Bike Bus (nobody walked, so I’ll stop sanctimonious it was a walking bus) lived locally though routinely wouldn’t let their child bike to propagandize since of a crossings. Richland Elementary is nestled into a community, though has National Blvd. 3 blocks to a south, a I-10 only to a north, and is about median between Barrington and Sawtelle Boulevards. None of those are easy crossings.

To make matters worse, Richland itself has no quell cuts on a corners surrounding a school.

While a city is creation strides in a Safe Routes to Schools Program, there is still a lot of work to be done. In 2013, 77% of organizers indicated that formidable intersection crossings or complicated trade roving during high speeds make children feel vulnerable walking to school. Only 44% reported a miss of trade reserve skills as a reason that children feel unsafe.

Friday was a good start for Richland Elementary, and we devise on following adult with a second Walk/Bike to School Day and Bike Rodeo in a spring. But as good a initial step as it was, there are still miles to go.

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