How do you get people to walk or bike?
The Santa Clara Safe Routes to School program held its second task force meeting yesterday. City Officials, SVBC, Santa Clara Unified School District, and school representatives met to talk about ways to make our communities more walkable and ways to get students walking to school. With fewer and fewer students walking to school we need to think of ways to jump start the next generation. The meeting discussed all of the programs that the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes Team has implemented or been a part of: walk-a-thons, bike nights, after school bike programs, and most importantly walk and bike to school days. Our goal is to empower more students to get to school by foot, bike, or other people powered transportation.
The most typical reason for parents driving their kids to school is SAFETY! I agree. Have you ever been near a school during drop-off or pick-up times? Chaos and traffic create a challenging environment for an elementary student to wander the streets. However, there is safety in numbers. The more students and parents we get on board, the less traffic and chaos on the roads. Walking groups, meeting points, bike trains, and properly marked street crossings are just some of the solutions the meeting generated. Without the communities' involvement kids will go from sitting in a car, to sitting at a desk, then back to the car, and end up on the couch. Everyone can be a part of the change just by using more people powered transportation. The fewer cars on the road the safer the streets are to travel by bike or foot.
If you have clever or creative ways to inspire kids to get out of their seat and move their feet please feel free to share. We are always looking for new ideas!