Tomorrow, for International Walk to School Day, tens of thousands of kids at more than 50 schools in Alameda County will walk or ride their bikes to class.
(Left: Roosevelt Middle School children at an after-school bike club, Cycles of Change)
I’m sure everyone feels good about the one-day event, but what do you think needs to happen for more children to walk or ride their bikes to school on a regular basis?
I hear stories about kids being bullied on their way to and from school — safety could be a factor. In other cases, maybe it’s just easier for working parents to drop their children off on their way to work, if they drive. It also could be that a lot of kids attend schools far from their neighborhoods.
A new local initiative called Safe Routes to Schools plans to survey kids about how they get to school — and why. It should be interesting.
Speaking of research:
Last fall, a researcher from UC Berkeley surveyed the parents of fifth-graders from 10 Oakland schools.
Dr. June Tester, now a pediatrician and researcher for Children’s Hospital-Oakland, found that half of the parents reported that their kids walked to school at least half the time, higher than the national average.
But many who drove their kids to school reported that traffic and crime were the main factors, rather than distance.