Today the Census Bureau released its newest report on commuting in America. There’s been a 60 percent increase in bike commuting in America over the past decade. Portland is #1 at 6.1%, and Seattle ranks #5 at 3.4%.
You need to know the trip to work is all this report tracks and trip to work is the tip of the bicycle iceberg. Almost twice as many of our trips are to the gym, the grocery store, the movie theater, and taking our kids to school.
We don’t measure these trips nearly as well as we should. And because we don’t measure, we don’t build the safe, family-friendly streets to support these trips either. That is about to change in Seattle.
We did do a little measurement on the May 7 2014 Bike to School Day. It was an awesome display of kid power, family power, and community power. The excitement and pride as reports rolled in from all over Seattle was breathtaking.
Just a little energy from the Walk.Bike.Schools! blog:
- We counted 136 bikes in the Salmon Bay K-8 Bike Alley, and that number doesn’t even include all of the skateboards, scooters, roller blades, and kids on foot that we saw. Impossible to know for sure, but our full tally is probably around 160 arriving by kid-powered modes of transportation.
- At Eckstein Middle we have 49 today. We consider that a huge success, as we are still trying to crack the middle school code (how do those brains work, anyway?). If you have ideas, let us know.
- We’re tracking numbers here at Cascade…up to 1315 so far for elementary and K-8 students and 93 at middle schools. Shout out to newcomers on the Bike to School scene…Lowell Elementary with 25 students, McDonald International with 120, Pacific Crest with 70, and Whitman Middle School with 36! SPS Superintendent Jose Banda led one of two bike trains to Alki Elementary this morning with more than 150 people on bikes!
- I’m pretty sure we had our biggest “Bike to School Day Doughnut Ride” ever at Bryant. Our best-guess count is 200+ riders (parents and kids). That’s a lot of potential mayhem but everything went smoothly and everyone remained rubber-side down. Phew!
- At John Stanford International School we had a bike train of 91! (That includes a couple scooters). Counting bikes and scooters (tho only a handful were scooters) on the racks, fences, and trees after the bell rang yielded 94, but that doesn’t count the many trailer biked kids and bikes that don’t stick around so probably it’s really a tad higher. Awesome day!
- With all these students as inspiration, we have 4 Seattle Public School administration bike teams of nearly 10 each, plus individual riders at the John Stanford Center for this year’s bike-to-work month.
- Whittier had 155 (with about 4 or 5 unicycles)!
- I’m so jealous!! We had 7 at Denny! SO SAD!!! I am thinking MSP testing and being a Wednesday didn’t help but man I was disappointed But I’m gonna keep trying!
- Laurelhurst Elementary had 121 kiddos bike/unicycle today. We have about 430 students in the school. They all loved the treats and stickers. What a beautiful day – who ordered the weather for the event?
- Stevens Elementary counted more than 100 bikes yesterday! (101 to be exact.) One of them was a tandem, too.
The lesson from Bike to School? We need to keep supporting our kids with ever safer streets for walking and biking to school.
If people riding bikes act as the “canary in the coal mine” as indicators of a safe, healthy city, kids on bikes are the bright song of that canary.
Stats from Walk.Bike.School for May 7 2014
- Bryant K-5 200+
- Whittier K-5 155
- Alki ElementaryK-5 150
- Salmon Bay K-8 136
- Laurelhurst K-5 121
- McDonald K-5 120
- Stevens K-5 101
- JSIS K-5 91
- Pacific Crest K-5 70
- Eckstein 6-8 49