Bike to School Day is May 8!

Think back to your school days. How did you get to school? If you are of a certain age, probably one of three ways — taking the bus, walking or biking. But as most of us are aware, that is not the case today.

The vast majority of students travel to school in single family vehicles, every single day, contributing to traffic, congestion, safety and environmental concerns. The more cars on the road, the more dangerous it is for walkers and bicyclists. And yet parents cite traffic safety concerns as the number one reason they don’t want their kids walking and bicycling to school — it’s a vicious cycle.

Our goal at Safe Routes to School is to help students, parents and teachers understand the benefits of getting to school on foot or by bike, and provide them with the tools to do so safely. We offer bike and pedestrian safety education at over 50 schools across Sonoma County to help encourage kids and their families to walk, bike, scooter, skateboard or even roller skate to school.

May 8 is Sonoma County’s 3rd Annual Bike to School Day event, produced by the Safe Routes to School Program. Though we encourage kids and families to bike to school every day (and many do!), Bike to School Day is a special occasion to highlight the joy and possibilities of bicycling, while also welcoming other forms of walking and rolling to school.

Nearly 60 schools across the county are participating in Bike to School Day this May – a 12% increase from 2023! Many schools are organizing bike trains, where families meet up at a pre-chosen spot and ride to school as a big group. Schools will receive a supply of posters and fun promotional items to inspire participation and bring smiles to the kiddos when they arrive at school in the morning.

Walking and rolling to school has many benefits. Kids get exercise, spend quality time with friends and family, have fun, help reduce traffic, help keep the air clean and help save the planet. We hope to see you out there May 8!

–Danielle McElwee, Safe Routes to School educator