MnDOT encourages schools, communities to participate in International Walk and Bike to School Day Oct. 5
Activity supports pedestrian and bicycle safety
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Nearly 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students will participate in International Walk and Bike to School Day Oct. 5. The annual event, sponsored by the Minnesota Safe Routes to School, encourages students and parents to get outside, increase their physical activity, teach pedestrian and bicycle safety, reduce traffic congestion and strengthen connections between families, schools and communities while walking and biking to school.
“This day gets schools, families and communities thinking about what it might be like if their community walked and bicycled to school year-round,” said Dave Cowan, Walk and Bike to School Day coordinator. “Walking and bicycling safety are an important life skill. Walk to School Day is great way to encourage students to use that knowledge all through their lives while building physical activity into their daily routine.”
Cowan said schools that register their Walk and Bike to School Day by Sept. 28 will get stickers and bookmarks. Registration is at www.walkbiketoschool.org.
Participants can also join in the Walk to School Day photo contest by submitting photos on social media with the hashtag #mnwalks. Learn more at www.mnsaferoutestoschool.org under the current programs tab.
The event is an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, and who live in areas with bike friendly paths to school, to walk and bike to school. Many schools participate in a “bus stop and walk” event by arranging for school buses to drop off students at a nearby park or other safe locations to finish the trip on foot. The drop-off option also can be used for students who are usually driven to school in private vehicles.
Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about the walk and walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods. The walkability checklist helps walkers assess what makes the walking environment inviting and safe and identify existing barriers. After the assessment, schools and communities can work to make a plan for improvements.
For more information, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.