Schools across the nation will participating in the 6th annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Schools, parents, towns and public health and transportation organizations are organizing bike trains, group rides and other activities to highlight and celebrate the benefits of choosing safe, student-powered transportation to school.
Organizers say that in 2016 2,631 schools registered events, setting an all-time high for National Bike to School Day participation. Here in Ohio, 67 schools participated in events throughout the state. The Bike to School Day Events are built off of the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.
The benefits from encouraging more children to bicycle (or walk) to school expand beyond the school environment, as they also positively impact the entire community. For example, more students biking or walking means less cars on the road, thus less vehicle congestion. A second benefit is a stronger sense of community. Walking and bicycling brings families, neighbors, school officials and community leaders together. Communities with higher rates of walking and bicycling are safer because they tend to have lower crash rates for all travel modes. One reason may be that motorists drive more cautiously when they expect to encounter walkers and bicyclists. Lastly, families save on gas, communities spend less on building and maintaining roads and school districts spend less on busing. In fact, one school district calculated $237,000 in annual savings.
“Bike to School Day is the perfect opportunity for students and parents to try biking to school as a healthy alternative to driving,” said Josh Unterbrink, Allen County Bike & Pedestrian Task Force Chair. “For some, just one ride can help a child realize the benefits of riding and that getting on a bike is better than passively sitting in a car every day.” We encourage parents to consider allowing their children to participate in this year’s National Bike to School Day.
Local schools can find out how to participate in Bike to School Day by going to http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.