Record Numbers for San Francisco Bike to School Day
It may be the first year for National Bike to School Day, but San Francisco has been celebrating and growing its local event since 2009. Yesterday, more than 2,000 students pedaled to class (in the rain!) for the fourth annual Bike to School Day, with the participation of 40 schools and six District Supervisors.
“More and more families are discovering that bicycling is an easy and enjoyable way to move around San Francisco,” said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which co-hosted the event with the San Francisco Safe Routes to School partners. “As our city continues to add more safe and protected family-friendly bikeways like the new one on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, we expect to see even more families discovering the joy of biking together.”
Seeing the tremendous impact of Safe Routes to School programs operating in 15 area schools, district officials have been key partners and champions for Bike to School Day — and biking to school everyday. “We know when kids start the day with exercise, they are more likely to be awake and alert and perform better in school,” said San Francisco School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia. “More kids safely biking and walking to school makes for healthier kids and a healthier school.”
One way the district is encouraging biking is its intent to add four bike racks to all 104 schools. “We’ve put in the infrastructure that makes it easier for parents to leave the bike there during the day instead of having to schlep it back,” Nick Kaestner, director of sustainability for SFUSD, told Streetsblog.
According to SFUSD, a sizable segment of the student body is within easy pedal distance of their classroom: More than 40 percent of elementary students live within one mile of their school. “People love seeing us biking to school — they smile and wave,” said Brook Broughton, who bikes to school with her daughter and son. “It’s a really fun way to start our day. There are so many other parents and kids biking, and that community really helps us feel safer.”