Parents and students around the country are organizing into ‘bike buses’ to keep children safe while biking to and from school.
A new movement dubbed by some as “kidical mass” is using power in numbers to create safe, active bike-to-school groups, reports John Surico in The New York Times.
Also known as a ‘bike bus,’ the concept involves groups of adults and children organizing to ride bikes to and from local schools. Bike buses are organized by volunteer parents and advocates, with groups organizing to schedule shifts, collect safety gear, and spread the word to neighbors.
According to Surico, “Research shows that children arrive at school more engaged when they walk or cycle there.” In 1969, close to half of U.S. schoolchildren walked to school. Today, that number is around 13 percent, and many U.S. roads are too dangerous for children to safely get to school on their own.
Surico points out that “For now, bike bus routes tend to exist in whiter and wealthier neighborhoods. When a reporter joined the Bergen route, no children participated for its first mile through Crown Heights, where cycling infrastructure is less accessible.” But parents and other volunteers involved hope that the movement will draw attention to the need for safer pedestrian and bike infrastructure near schools so children can safely use a variety of transportation modes.
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