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Did You Know?

Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

Every day should be Bike to School Day

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Across the country thousands of kids rode their bikes to school today as participants in National Bike to School Day. Schools and communities in almost every state organize fun and educational events to encourage kids to bike to school safely and responsibly. 

These events include safety trainings, helmet fittings, organized rides to school, trail openings, and bicycle skills trainings. These types of activities can help make parents and kids feel more secure in riding their bikes to school while teaching them basic skills that can help encourage them to make more frequent bike trips.

Participation in National Bike to School Day local events is increasing every year, and while these events are becoming more popular, it’s important to take a step back and look at why every day isn’t bike to school day.

In Illinois nearly 5 children are hit by a vehicle within one block of a school every day.

Unsettling statistics like this one reflect the underlying lack of safe spaces for kids to walk and bike near schools.  For most school children, biking to school safely and easily just isn't an option.

With the goal of changing this unacceptable situation, Active Trans, along with a number of statewide partners, recently launched the Safe Routes to School Campaign, which focuses on improving the Illinois' Safe Routes to School program. This program funds infrastructure and educational projects that make biking and walking to school safer for Illinois children. 

The funding for this program is vital, particularly in areas with higher crash rates and areas where getting physical activity, like biking and walking, is more difficult. Today’s National Bike to School Day events present an opportunity to look at the safety issues around biking and walking to school that children experience every day and talk about how we can improve poor safety conditions.

What can you do to help? Tell your State Representative that we need more funding for the Safe Routes to School program to ensure that this crucial funding is available to communities that need it most.