1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204
October 8, 2014-- I was so pleased to participate in International Bike and Walk to School Day with Principal Joyner and the students, family and faculty at Hosford Middle School. Along with 60 other Portland schools and many other schools around the world, Hosford students celebrated their commitment to living healthful and active lives by taking advantage of the beautiful fall morning and walking to school together.
Portland's Safe Routes to School program provides “Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation in an Equitable manner” to support the efforts of students, parents and teachers in creating an active partnership between schools and the communities they serve.
Since we started our partnership with the Safe Routes to School initiative in 2005, 42% of trips taken by Portland elementary school students are on foot or on bike—up from just 7% nine years ago.
Despite our progress, there are still neighborhoods in Portland where walking or biking to school isn’t a viable option because the students don’t have access to sidewalks, bikeways and safe pedestrian crossings. We have already made great strides, but it is our hope that the program will continue to grow through prioritized funding to safety projects.
It was impressive to see so many enthusiastic students with their families come together this morning at Hosford. And it wasn’t just students and families. Safe Routes to School helps build strong and connected communities. In fact, we were joined by Rob Sadowsky from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance who helped students make pedal-powered smoothies; Cory Poole from NW Skate Coalition who teaches skate safety in local middle schools; and active transportation advocate extraordinaire, Noel Mickelberry from Oregon Walks.
It is my hope that through the Safe Routes to School Program, schools around Portland will follow Hosford’s example and continue to make active transportation accessible and enjoyable for all children in their neighborhoods.