(Photos © J. Maus)
On Friday, Portland Mayor Sam Adams joined a handful of Oregon state representatives to support the City’s Safe Routes to School program. Adams, along with City staff and bike safety education specialists from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, rode with a fourth grade class from Humboldt Elementary School to Overlook Park.
When they arrived at the northern end of the park, the kids were given the option to ride down (or “bomb”, as the instructor put it) the steep grassy hill. Several of the kids jumped at the opportunity, squealing with equal parts terror and delight as they gained speed and coasted onto the park’s large grassy field. Once they had all made it down (with lots of supportive cheers from classmates), Mayor Adams and the kids’ teacher, Patrisha Porter, decided to take the plunge too.
It was a great moment for kids to not only ride down the hill themselves, but to see their teacher and the Mayor of Portland follow suit! When asked by one of the City staffers what their favorite part of the Safe Routes class was, the kids all yelled, “The hill! The hill!.”
Afterwards, all the kids assembled in front of Adams and state reps Michael Dembrow and Lew Frederick to demonstrate some of what they’d learned in their Safe Routes class. The kids exuded the kind of energy and confidence that only fun physical activities like biking can bring.
Mrs. Porter was also presented with a special plaque congratulating her class for completing 10 hours of bike safety education. The City of Portland’s Safe Routes to School program currently serves over 70 schools. The BTA contracts with the City to provide instruction and other services at about half those schools.
Learn more about Portland’s Safe Routes program here. View more images, including a few more of Mayor Adams bombing downhill, in the slideshow below:
UPDATE: And here’s a brief video of the event put together by the Mayor’s office: