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Kids encouraged to walk, bike to school on the Coast

School District No. 46 Go Active Travel campaign runs from May 29 to June 9. Students and staff are encouraged to ride, walk or roll to and from school.
Langdale Elementary students celebrate success completing CyclingBC’s HopON cycling skills course with university student instructors Richard and Patrick. Two more elementary schools receive this training in SD46 early June – raising skills and confidence of students to ride safely to school, for fun and in the community.

School District No. 46 Go Active Travel campaign runs from May 29 to June 9.  Students and staff are encouraged to ride, walk or roll to and from school.   

SD46 Superintendent Kate Kerr highlights that, “SD46 is building on last year’s efforts – with ICBC supported Road Safety Blitzes at four elementary schools early next week; and Cycling BC’s HopON Bike Skills courses at three schools.”  

Health studies demonstrate that active travel: 

• Is good for the heart and bones and it reduces anxiety; 

• makes children more alert – waking up their mind and their body; 

• fosters friendships and builds healthy independence; 

• improves school performance and students sleep better at night, and 

• improves air quality and lowers traffic at school. 

Kerr points out, “Half or more households are within walking or riding distance to their school (500m to 1,500m).  Getting kids up 10 minutes early saves on crowded school parking lots, and choosing active travel helps support student well-being and reduces emissions.”  For families that live farther away – the Drive-to-5 option was popular last year. It means you drive to within a five-minute walk, park safely and then enjoy a fresh air stroll together to school. Many parents reported appreciating this time together outside. Best Routes to School Travel Maps are available online for all elementary schools as a helpful navigation guide.  

To help encourage students this season, bicycle lights, bells and reflectors will be raffled off.  TraC, the Coast’s local active travel advocacy group, is hosting community celebration stations to honour all riders. They are also sponsoring some student and staff participation prizes.  TraC president, Alun Williams says, “We love to see staff and students participate – and so we’ve thrown a few prizes in the mix to keep things interesting for everyone!” 

Students already registered for SD46 bus service or regular transit bus users are eligible for these prizes too – and, where it is safe and appropriate, SD46 encourages them to walk to and from their bus pickup/drop-off. 

SD46 emphasizes that adult supervision to school is key for students who are in Grade 3 or below. For drivers, SD46 emphasizes to please go slow.  School zone speed limits are 30 km/h.  Please wait on school buses. Never pass them.  Kids are learning the ropes for active travel.  Give them lots of space and reduce your speed especially at intersections and crosswalks.   

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