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How to start a Bike Train to help kids bike to school

What is a Bike Train? A bike train is a group of students and parents or volunteers who ride to school together, kind of like a carpool, but for people on bikes.  Some great things about Bike Trains include: Parents can share transportation responsibilities Reduce congestion around school by reducing the number of cars on the road Encourage healthy physical habits Build community A regular schedule helps get students to school on time Creates joy and independence She provided me with a bunch of resources, including this helpful step-by-step toolkit. We regularly rode to school before starting this activity.  With the help of Oakland’s Slow Streets, we’d already been able to realize some of the above benefits.  We’d see familiar faces on bike or on foot on the way to school.  The ride to school featured a good dose of […]

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Biking on the Shafter Ave Slow Streets in Oakland, CA

Slow Streets: They make biking to school on Oakland’s Shafter Avenue calmer and more peaceful

  It’s great to see kids biking to school   There were so many kids biking to school on the Shafter Ave Slow Street.  I counted at least 11 kids on bikes on the 4 blocks that we rode through. It’s such a nice thing to be able to commute through these streets – streets that are not prioritized for car traffic, speed, and throughput. These kids might have been driven to school instead if not for the slow streets.  It’s great to have a lower carbon and lower congestion alternative.   About Oakland’s Slow Streets   Oakland’s Slow Streets have existed since May 2020.  They are “soft” street closures that include small barriers (such as cones) and “Road Closed to Thru Traffic” signs.  There are no other restrictions, and the intent was to still allow for local car, delivery, […]

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Bike lane on SE 42nd, Portland

Is this bike lane safe? (Riding to Creston Park was kind of scary)

  I took my child to Creston Park by bike during our last visit to Portland.  Aside from a few issues (it was hot! and my kid wasn’t used to their borrowed bike!) the ride there was mostly pleasant.  We took some of the calm neighborhood streets and Greenways. Our general path was along SE 34th, Clinton and SE 45th Avenue. I knew we’d have to cross SE Powell at some point, but I guess I had hoped that there’d be a decent way to bike across it.  Especially since Portland has relatively (for the USA) good bike infrastructure.  I also hoped that since there’s a park with Creston Elementary school nearby, the city might have provisions for easier biking to school and play.   We saw another adult and children riding, presumably headed to the same destination.  We stopped […]

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Morning drop-off on kindergarten rodeo day by Lars Ploughmann https://flic.kr/p/UhMoqA

School drop-offs and car culture

Having ridden the bus a lot as a child, I was surprised to see that, at least in the Bay Area, many schools don’t have school bus service.  When I visited our elementary school for a tour, I was surprised to see how many children were dropped off via car.  I was also impressed at how streamlined the process was.  There was a long line of 8-10 vehicles, and volunteers helped shuttle children onto school grounds and to where they needed to go.  Parents or other caretakers didn’t even need to leave their vehicles nor open the door for their children. I was impressed and also a little concerned.  We don’t own a car, and I was hoping that, given how mature and streamlined the car drop off process was, that there would be at least evidence of accommodations for […]

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