Rethinking your morning routine

It's that time of the year when the streets fill with parents dropping off kids at school…let's rethink the morning routine and fill the sidewalks instead of the streets! It’s time to start thinking about pedestrian and bicycle safety as you plan your child’s commute to school. Avoid the traffic jams and reduce congestion at schools by walking or rolling to school this year! SVBC's Safe Routes to School programs have begun, and throughout the fall, we will continue to educate students on the rules of the road for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, the Safe Routes team is planning fun activities and events to encourage students to walk or roll. There are many opportunities for community members, families, students, and schools to get involved. Plan a walking school bus with your neighbors, join a group bicycle ride to school, and keep an eye out for International Walk and Bike to School Day in October. Together we can help build a healthier...

Is it a groundbreaking? A ribbon cutting? No it’s a lane painting!

Hedding Street gets a green make-over! Corinne, Ernesto, Anne, and I all rode bikes down to the ceremony initiating the green bike lane on Hedding Street. We are really excited for this, the first green bike lane in San José! Corinne spoke briefly, along with Councilmember Sam Liccardo, Department of Transportation Director Hans Larsen, and Rhonda Berry of Our City Forest, which is planting trees along the route. I have learned that painting the street is not an easy task! The actual painters may have some touch-up work to do after the mess I made. We hope to see everyone at the ribbon cutting ceremony next month…details coming soon. I’m not going to say more, because the pictures speak for...

Clean commute students win Santa Clara SR2S poster contest

Have you taken the VTA buses or Light Rail recently? If so, you might have spied some creative work promoting biking, walking, and transit. The Santa Clara Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program teamed up with the City of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Unified School District, and VTA to launch an exciting poster contest for students in grades K-8. The students were encouraged to submit posters that represented the goals of the Safe Routes to School program: making it safer, easier, and more fun to walk, bike, or take transit to and from school. With several dozen posters to choose from, a committee selected four posters that best represented the program and they are now hanging in VTA buses and Light Rail! Last week, the four winning students were awarded certificates of achievement by Mayor Jaime Matthews for their outstanding work! The winners were: Mysha, a Kindergarden student at Sutter Elementary Tejaswi, a 3rd grade student at Sutter Elementary Valeria, a 3rd grade student at Scott Lane Elementary Khue, a 6th grade student at Cabrillo Middle...

Kids bike for fun!

If anyone knows how to have a good time on a bike, it's a kid. Haman Elementary School held its first Family Bike Night last week, in which over 100 students and their parents brought their bikes and enjoyed an evening of biking activities. They were greeted with race plates to mount on their bikes, water bottles to stay hydrated, and a blacktop waiting for their bikes. Big Wheels, scooters, training wheels, kids bikes, and even adult bikes covered the blacktop for two hours as everyone pedaled away the evening. Calmar Bicycles graciously provided a mechanic who pumped tires and performed safety checks to make sure all the bikes were safe to ride. The local bike shop also provided Specialized Demo bikes for those without bikes or ill-fitting bikes to try for the event as well as several amazing volunteers! Once the attendees were checked in and ready to ride, they could choose from a paper delivery toss where newspapers needed to be delivered to three different houses, a snail race where the slowest rider wins, an obstacle course with a teeter totter, or a spinning wheel filled with safety trivia. The smiles were endless as riders conquered the teeter totter or managed to make each basket full of newspapers! It was amazing to see how many students owned bikes considering only a handful ride them to school. How can we get these students to ride to school? Better yet, how do we get parents to feel comfortable letting their kids ride to school? There is hope! The following morning was Haman’s Walk and Bike to School Day and...

The wonders of science

Do you remember the scientific method? Briarwood Elementary School recently held its Science Fair Night, during which the cafeteria was lined with student projects displaying everything from the effects of no soil on plants to the strength of magnets. However, this wasn't your typical elementary school science fair. The school invites members of the community to present and share the science behind their magic. There was a glass blowing demonstration, a bee keeper, the Town Cats, and many others, including the Santa Clara Safe Routes to School Team! We showed the students that bikes don’t just have to be for transportation and that appliances will work without electricity! For two straight hours the students powered our bike blender with the power of their legs. The line and amazement of both parents and students never died as student after student pedaled away in hopes of having a perfectly blended smoothie. The students quickly learned that the faster they pedaled the better the results and many got off the bike exhausted and ready for their well-earned smoothie! *Photo courtesy of Brairwood student...