Thousands of kids of all ages rode for today’s 3rd annual Bike to School Day along with their parents, teachers and city and elected officials. Nearly 40 schools all across the city participated in this popular and fun event and the huge turnout reflects what we are seeing citywide — San Franciscans love bicycling.
A big thank you to the five San Francisco Supervisors who started their mornings celebrating Bike to School Day in their districts:
- Eric Mar (D1) biked to George Peabody Elementary School in the Richmond District
- Carmen Chu (D4) biked to Sunset Elementary School and her aide joined a group biking to Ulloa Elementary School in the Sunset District
- Scott Weiner (D8) biked to Alvarado Elementary School in Noe Valley
- David Campos (D9) welcomed biking students at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary in the Mission District
- John Avalos (D11) biked to Monroe Elementary in the Excelsior District
Bike to School Day was also a celebration of the citywide San Francisco Safe Routes to School program, which organizes the event and has tripled in size this year.
“We’re proud to be a partner in the Safe Routes to School program and be a resource for the huge numbers of families that are biking and want to bike more,” says Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the 12,000-member SF Bicycle Coalition, which promotes bicycling for everyday transportation.
Safe Routes to School is in 15 elementary schools and is a joint effort among city departments, community groups, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and led by the SF Department of Public Health. The program is helping record numbers of students bike and walk to school through education and encouragement and improving the safety of streets.
“The San Francisco’s Safe Routes to School program is proving to be very successful,” says Nik Kaestner, Director of Sustainability at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). “We’re seeing more and more students and families who feel comfortable biking and walking to school which helps the School District achieve our commitment to improving sustainability citywide.”
Safe Routes to Schools is making a difference for more San Francisco families. “People love seeing us biking to school, they smile and wave, it’s a really fun way to start our day. And Grace loves it too,” says Brook Broughton who bikes with her 7-year-old daughter Grace to school. “These days, there are so many other parents and kids biking, and that community really helps us feel safer.”
Huge numbers of families are already biking and many more want to bike. “Bike to School Day demonstrates the tremendous demand for safe spaces for families to bike, such as protected bikeways,” says Shahum. “We’re seeing the difference on Market Street with the separated bike lanes helping more families feel comfortable and safe biking to the Ferry Building or dropping their kids to daycare. Connecting San Francisco from end to end with bikeways will help our city be an easier place for everyone from a second-grader to her grandmother to bike.”