#StreetsR4Families: So You Missed Walk to School Day…

Image: The Source
Image: The Source

This year, Walk to School Day was a huge success in Los Angeles. Over 100 schools participated in the event, it drew attention from the local media, and the messaging in said media was more than just, “LOOK–CUTE KIDS WALKING TO SCHOOL.”

Nice work, LADOT, Nelson/Nygaard, and the hundreds of volunteers and school officials that worked to make the day a success.

But maybe your school didn’t participate in Walk to School Day. Last year was the first year that my son’s school participated in Walk to School or Bike to School Day, so for years his classmates were missing out.

Don’t worry, if your school missed the big day there are still plenty of ways to get your kids into the fun of Walktober. Here is a quick list of some ways you can get your local school thinking about students’ transportation options in the wake of Walk to School Day 2015.

  1. Just schedule your own Walk to School Day for later in the year. The one at my kids’ school isn’t actually until October 23. After our first Walk to School Day became a bike derby, we decided to move it to Friday so we could take advantage of kids’ willingness to come on two wheels for some school time activities that are most appropriate at the end of the week. I made a guide after last year’s event. Here it is.
  2. It’s never too early to plan “Bike to School Day.” International Bike to School Day is May 4. Traditionally, Metro and Los Angeles City do their Bike Week the week after Bike to School Day, so it will probably be celebrated locally on May 11. However, much like Walk to School Day, it’s not like you lose points if you hold it on a different day. *
  3. Plan a walking audit for your school. Literally: take some kids out, walk in the community around the school. Take note of what you see. Are there improvements to be made? If so, make a note and send them to your City Council office.
  4. Meet James Rojas. Read about his teaching and outreach style. Watch this video. Invite him to your school. I have his email address, so drop me a line.
  5. Start a Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train. The titles are self-explanatory. There’s even a website to get you started.

There are many other things that you can do to make your local school a safer place to walk and bike. If you’ve got some easy ideas, please leave them in the comments section so others can pick them up.

*Because nobody is keeping score.

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