AUSTIN, Texas - Over 60 students and their guardians joined in on a group bike ride led by Austin Public Works and Ghisallo Cycling Initiative in Northeast Austin on Wednesday.
The group ride was to Blanton Elementary School, and was just one of over 20 events throughout the city, and one of over 1,600 events held across the country for Bike to School Day.
Austin Public Works' Safe Routes to School program partnered with Blanton Elementary to organize the bike ride.
Safe Routes to School and Safe Kids Austin staff distributed helmets, snacks and reflective gear to those walking or cycling. The staff also held a raffle for participating students at Bartholomew Park.
"We work closely with local schools year-round to train kids from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade to feel safe and comfortable using active transportation and transit," said Rhonda Bolick, Safe Routes to School's Education Manager. "It’s rewarding to see students put those lessons into use at events like this. We always hope those learnings translate to their day-to-day life and help them get not only to school, but safely around their neighborhoods as well."
Striving to make every day Bike to School Day, Austin Public Works has implemented the following four key Safe Routes to School programs across the city:
- Crossing Guards: Employs over 200 crossing guards and crossing guard supervisors at 97 elementary schools throughout Austin ISD and in six neighboring school districts.
- Community Engagement: Partners with parents, teachers, and school administrators to plan activities and provide resources to get students and families excited about walking and biking to school.
- Education and Training: Trains approximately 45,000 students a year in safe street crossing, bus riding, bicycle safety and more.
- Infrastructure Projects: Through the 2016 and 2020 Mobility Bonds, Safe Routes to School constructs safety improvements including sidewalks, curb ramps, crossings, signals, and bikeways. In 2021, the program addressed 148 barriers at 32 different schools across the city.
Learn more about Safe Routes to School here.