Getting There Together: A Message from the Director
This spring we celebrated the third annual National Bike to School Day and couldn’t be more pleased with the success of this year’s event! Event participation has set yet another record with over 2,200 events registered nationwide - a 30% percent increase from last year. Students, families, school and community leaders and elected officials celebrated the importance of bicycling and walking to school by organizing helmet fittings, bicycle skills clinics and trail openings.
This year the National Center for Safe Routes to School partnered with Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program for the Bike to School Day Helmets on Heads Bikeshare Giveaway. Eight schools each were awarded 10 bikes and 20 helmets in weekly drawings leading up to Bike to School Day and one final drawing was held last week for two more sets of 10 bikes and 20 helmets in recognition of the close of Bike Month. During the giveaway, event organizers submitted answers to the question, “What would your school do with ten bikes and twenty helmets?” We’ve featured their creative ideas in this month’s newsletter to help inspire other schools and event organizers around the country. Congratulations to our winning schools and thanks to each and every one of you who helped make this year’s event a wonderful success.
This spring we also celebrated that the number of schools participating in the National Safe Routes to School program has climbed past 16,000. For more information, visit the National Center’s Spring 2014 Tracking Brief.
Summer is right around the corner and here at the National Center we’ve begun preparing for this fall’s International Walk to School Day. Mark your calendars for the big day, October 8th, and register at www.walkbiketoschool.org to get access to downloadable materials including stickers, certificates and customizable fliers. Registrants can also subscribe to a weekly e-newsletter for four weeks in September and October with tips and resources for organizing a Walk to School Day event.
As we look forward to International Walk to School Day and reflect on the resounding success of National Bike to School Day, we also remember Congressman James L. Oberstar, the visionary for safe walking and bicycling to school. Mr. Oberstar championed the creation and success of the Safe Routes to School program and spent his career paving the way for bicycling and walking safety for communities nationwide. Mr. Oberstar’s dedication and enthusiasm for transportation safety has helped inspire a nation. Thanks to Mr. Oberstar we have a movement for healthy and safe children for generations to come.