Celebrating a Year of Family Biking

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More families are biking in car-free spaces, and more parents and their children are taking to the streets all over San Francisco. Your SF Bicycle Coalition and our Safe Routes to School partners want to make biking and walking safe for everyone in every neighborhood, including families on their way to school. We thank our members, biking parents and caregivers, and the community-based groups that have helped over 3,000 children and parents get rolling in 2016 through an array of events.

Sunday Streets was again our favorite sponsor of car-free events. From Bayview-Hunters Point to the Outer Sunset, your SF Bicycle Coalition helped hundreds of children experience Freedom From Training Wheels and ride with their families in our Test Ride a Family Bike programs last year. Sunday Streets will be back in Spring.

SF Shared Schoolyard Project expanded opportunities for beginning bike-riders. The Shared Schoolyard Project now opens over 30 public school playgrounds every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Look for your SF Bicycle Coalition at kickoff events to celebrate the opening of even more schoolyards in 2017.

Presidio YBike, the youth biking initiative of the YMCA of San Francisco and a Safe Routes to School partner, brings teachers and equipment for learn-to-ride events at Shared Schoolyard events and Safe Routes host schools. SF Bicycle Coalition provides outreach and parent education. Together we’ll add neighborhood rides for the whole family to our family biking workshops in the coming year.

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Safe Routes to School partner Walk SF coordinated the biggest Walk & Roll to School Day yet in October 2016. Upwards of 13,000 participants at 93 schools joined on foot, bicycle, scooter and public transit. Your SF Bicycle Coalition, Walk SF, SF Unified School District and SF Environment support families and school staff with regular walk and roll events for San Francisco schools. Congratulations to the families who have activated neighborhood playgrounds as the starting point for a “walking school bus” or “bike train” to school. We’ve seen other groups walk and roll from cafes, parklets and church steps. Check out our free resources to start a walking school bus.

The Excelsior Collaborative awarded a Community Action Grant to kickstart Safe Routes to School’s first “Walk & Roll to School Hub” at Excelsior Playground just over one year ago. Now every Tuesday morning during the school year, caregivers and children meet at Excelsior Playground for a little community building before families walk and roll to four nearby public schools: Cleveland Elementary, Denman Middle School, Monroe Elementary and SF Community School. On Dec. 6, then-Supervisor John Avalos presented the Excelsior Playground Hub with an award of recognition from the Board of Supervisors to commemorate its first anniversary celebration.

Bicis del Pueblo’s biking students led the way for Bike & Roll to School Week last April. The SF Community School’s middle school bike class rolled out from Excelsior Playground with then-Supervisor John Avalos, community leaders and hundreds of students biking, walking and scooter-rolling to school. We’ve continued our collaboration, hosting bike trains from the Excelsior Hub to the nearby schools weekly when school is in session.

Thanks again to all our partners and the dedicated members and biking families who helped make 2016 a year of family-biking success. Check out our family biking events calendar, and see you in the New Year.

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