Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 28th, 2008 at 11:56 am
The Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance hopes that friendly competition is what will get more Portland schoolkids walking and biking to school.
They've just opened registration for the first-ever Walk + Bike to School Challenge. The event, modeled after their highly successful Bike Commute Challenge which is focused on Oregon businesses, will challenge kids across the Portland metro area to walk and bike to school more often.
The friendly competition will pit Portland elementary school students against each other to see which one can tally the most walk and bike trips during the month of May.
According to the BTA, they'll also compete against Portland State University students, who are having their own Bike Commute Challenge in May. A party to award the winners is scheduled for June 8th at the North Park Blocks near PSU.
This event is part of the BTA's larger goal to help more Portland families make the decision to go by bike. During the month of May, the BTA will host weekly workshops on safe family riding. Lilian Karabaic, organizer of the Walk + Bike Challenge says the event hopes to capture a growing interest in family biking.
Karabaic says, "Family commuting has become more prominent and it is time for an event that focuses on that community."
According to Robert Ping, statewide coordinator for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, In 1969, 60% of kids walked and biked to school. Today, that number has dropped to 12%.
"Hopefully," says Karabaic, "this challenge will inspire families to take the first step to reversing that trend."
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