ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students are expected to participate in Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 4, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The annual event, sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School, encourages students and parents to try out a new, healthy habit that increases their physical activity, reduces traffic congestion and strengthens connections between families, schools and communities.
“Thanks to a new Minnesota state law that requires all public school students to learn safe walking and bicycling skills at the beginning of the school year, Walk and Bike to School Day is more important than ever,” said Dave Cowan, MnDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator. “MnDOT has resources and educational materials to help schools meet this new rule and help make Walk to School Day a success.”
Even families who live far from school and typically ride the school bus or take a family vehicle, can participate through a “bus stop and walk” event. Participating schools designate a drop-off location within a half-mile from the school and volunteers help supervise the walk and assist with crossing streets.
Walk and Bike to School Day also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about assessing and improving the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods, because children often walk to community destinations.