New century transportation |

New century transportation

As much as 26 percent of morning traffic can be school related. This week, join several million children and their families around the world for International Walk/Bike to School week, and Wednesday for International Walk/Bike to School Day. If you cannot walk or bike to school during these days, try carpooling and taking the bus.

Now in its ninth year, International Walk and Bike to School Day is expected to include 3,000 schools from all 50 states. The idea is to walk or bike to school with a purpose ” to promote health, safety, physical activity, decrease traffic congestion and concern for the environment. Walkers from the United States will join children and adults in 36 countries around the world.

In 2001, less than 16 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walked or biked to or from school. In 1969, 48 percent of students walked or bike to school.

Traffic can lead to even less walking or biking. As more children are driven, more parents become convinced that traffic conditions make it unsafe for walking or bicycling, and they join the line of cars at the school.

Work with parents in your neighborhood to take turns walking and biking children to school. Identify a good route that passes by the home of each child. Ask parents or neighbors along the route to watch over children from their porches or yards for added safety. Even one parent or an older sibling with a group of children increases safety.

Walking together saves time for parents who can’t walk their children to school every day, and gives everyone a chance to socialize with neighbors.

If most families who regularly drive short trips to school were to respond positively by walking, biking, carpooling or taking the bus some of the time, astonishing differences would be noticed ” not least, the fact that they wouldn’t have to fill up with fuel as often as they do.

Local organizations involved in this year’s event include The Roaring Fork School District, The Aspen School District, City of Aspen, City of Glenwood Springs and New Century Transportation Foundation.

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