MnDOT encourages schools, communities to participate in Walk and Bike to School Day Oct. 10

ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students will participate in International Walk and Bike to School Day Wednesday, Oct. 10. The annual event, sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School, encourages students and parents to get outside, increase their physical activity, practice pedestrian and bicycle safety, reduce traffic congestion and strengthen connections between families, schools and communities while walking and biking to school.

“This celebratory event gets families, schools and communities thinking about what it might be like if their community walked and bicycled to school year-round, the result is transformative,” said Dave Cowan, Walk and Bike to School Day coordinator. “Safely walking and bicycling is an important life skill we should be teaching all youth. Walk to School Day is a great way to encourage students to use that knowledge all through their lives while building physical activity into their daily routine.”

Cowan said schools can register their Walk and Bike to School Day event at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Participants can also join in Minnesota’s Walk to School Day photo contest by submitting photos on the MnSRTS facebook page with the hashtag #mnwalks. Learn more atwww.mnsaferoutestoschool.org/ news-events/photo-contest- description.html.

The event is an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, and who live in areas with bike friendly paths to school, to walk and bike to school. Many schools participate in a “bus stop and walk” event by arranging for school buses to drop off students at a nearby park or other safe locations to finish the trip on foot. The drop-off option also can be used for students who are usually driven to school in private vehicles.

Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods.

For more information, visit www.mnsaferoutes.org/news- events/walk-to-school-day. html.

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