The city of Palo Alto is urging anyone headed to Palo Alto Unified
District school next week to do what they can to lighten their carbon footprint
on their way there.
The city is asking students, teachers, administrators and parents to take alternatives to solo driving during its Oct. 7-11 commemoration of" Palo Alto Walks and Rolls Week."
The city is encouraging walking, cycling, skating, carpooling and public transportation among the preferred options.
The annual Palo Alto event is in its 20th year.
“Palo Alto is one of the most bike-friendly and environmentally conscious communities in the country," PAUSD Superintendent Kevin Skelly said in a prepared statement.
"I can think of no better way to start a morning than a healthy, zero-emissions trip to school or work!”
On-campus "Walk &
Roll" celebrations at each middle and elementary school site will include
student-created collaborative Walk & Roll sidewalk murals and collage
projects, raffle prizes, Golden Sneaker Awards, and visits from local VIPs.
The Walk & Roll events are organized by the Palo Alto PTAs, City of Palo Alto, and PAUSD, who formed a Safe Routes to School partnership in 1993 with the goals of improving safety for students on their school commutes and encouraging more families to use alternatives to driving more often.
“Working together in partnership, we have been able to reverse the trend of students being driven to school in Palo Alto," Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said in the statement.
"We collaborate year round to host fun events like Palo Alto Walk & Rolls and Bike Palo Alto!, engineer safer streets, target police enforcement on school routes and provide traffic safety education for children and parents.”
Nationally, fewer than 17 percent of all school trips in this country are made by walking or bicycling.
Through the 20 year partnership between the City, school district and PTAs, biking and walking has increased throughout the district. This September, counts of student bikes at PAUSD schools showed that 43% of all high school students, 51% of middle school students and 13% of elementary school students were getting to school by bike. This translates to almost 3800 students biking to school, or 31% of the total number of students in the 17 PAUSD schools.
Walks and Rolls Week culminates with a "Bike Palo Alto!" event on Oct. 13.
City officials say Bike
Palo Alto! is a fun, family-friendly event designed to encourage Palo Alto
residents to ride their bikes more often for local shopping trips and getting
around the city. This free event starts at El Carmelo School (Loma Verde &
Bryant St.) and runs from 1 to 4 PM. It includes free bike inspections, safety tips
and route maps. Families can depart from El Carmelo to explore three different
bike routes that highlight easy ways to get around the city while avoiding
traffic and having fun. See Palo Alto Neighborhood Green Teams for
For a complete list of activities, please contact Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley at email@example.com.
For information about Safe Routes to School in Palo Alto, visit www.saferoutes.paloaltopta.org and to see Walk & Roll Maps, visit http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/saferoutes.