When Biking to School Is Cool


| 2/17/2009 11:17:47 AM


Walking Biking SchoolThe kids at Bear Creek Elementary in Boulder, Colorado, are some of the most hardcore green commuters in the land. Seventy percent of the students there walk or bike to school, we learned on the website Commute by Bike—an achievement that earned the school the 2008 James Oberstar Award for excellence in the federal Safe Routes program.

Only 25 percent of the students walked or biked when the program began two years ago, which shows that a little encouragement can go a long way. A little wackiness doesn’t hurt, either. Principal Kent Cruger has helped inspire students by arriving at school on wheeled transport including a foot-powered scooter, a skateboard, and a unicycle. And the school’s “Walking Schoolbus” program promotes walking routes with names that are anything but pedestrian, like Darley Dart, Vassar Vroom, and Sooper Shuttle.

“We are trying to create a new culture of daily car-free habits in this young generation,” says Vivian Kennedy, a parent volunteer at Bear Creek, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “A parent’s perception is a dominant factor in molding a child’s thinking, [but ] it’s now a matter of honor and pride for the students.”

In other words, it’s cool.

Sources: Commute by Bike, Safe Routes, Safe Routes Bear Creek Case Study, James L. Oberstar Award



Image by Dan Burden, courtesy of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. 



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter