Over 150 schools around Minnesota are signed-up to take part in the National Bike to School Day on Wednesday.
Bike to School Day is part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program, which focuses on getting more students walking and bicycling to school.
Safe Routes to School Coordinator Dave Cowan says tying the two together makes absolute sense.
“Since 1969 when 48-percent of students were walking and bicycling to school, that’s fallen to about 13-percent in 2007. So, MnDOT is excited to partner not just with the Minnesota Department of Health, but also with local public health departments to advance Safe Routes to School initiatives all over the state.”
Locally in MnDOT District 7 in the past four years, over a dozen Safe Routes to School projects have been funded by the state to make infrastructure improvements as well as further programming and education.
“We’ve trained teachers that work in Mankato schools through our partnership with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and the Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum, as well as bike fleets. I understand you have a number of bike fleets that are operating there in the Mankato area that are a part of that education. So, those are brought into the classroom so that students that don’t have access to a bicycle or maybe don’t have access to a functioning bicycle, have the opportunity to learn how to ride safely.”
Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded more than 30-million dollars to more than 700 schools for Safe Routes to School programing.