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(October 5, 2015) On October 7, students across Portland and across the globe will be participating in International Walk and Bike to School Day. Is your child’s school registered?
International Walk+Bike to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. Started in 1997, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate.
Portland’s nationally recognized Safe Routes to School program works to make walking, biking and rolling to and from school safer and easier for Portland students and families. A partnership of the City of Portland, schools, neighborhoods, community organizations and agencies, the Safe Routes program continues to make a significant difference for students and families’ safety and health.
Since its inception in 2005, the Portland Safe Routes program has made impressive gains in increasing the number of students walking and biking to school. Starting with eight elementary partner schools in its first year, the program has expanded year after year and now serves over 100 elementary, K-8 and middle schools across five school districts and reaches over 40,000 students. Portland Safe Routes will pilot its first high school program this year. These efforts have yielded impressive returns. Today, 43.6% of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike, an increase of 35% from when the program began. Thanks to the Safe Routes program, trips to school in Portland are on foot 33% and on bike 9%, compared to 12% walking and 1% biking rates nationally.