Deputy Mayor Lisa Dominato & VSB School Board Trustee Janet Fraser join ride to kick off Bike to School Week
May 27, 2019
May 27th, 2019 (Selkirk Elementary School, Vancouver, BC) - This morning Deputy Mayor of Vancouver Lisa Dominato, School Board Trustee Janet Fraser, and TransLink staff were on bikes, riding along with two local Vancouver families as they pedalled a familiar route to Selkirk Elementary School in East Vancouver. The ride was organized as part of the launch of HUB Cycling’s Bike to School Week and offered participants an opportunity to use safe cycling infrastructure and experience the joy of cycling to school.
Selkirk Elementary students, families and staff also celebrated the launch with bike tuneups, decorating, and breakfast on the school grounds. Bike to School Week is an active travel event during which elementary and middle schools register to encourage students to bike, walk, or roll to school from May 27 – 31 and organize activities such as bike parades, rodeos, and more. HUB Cycling is also running Bike Reels, a student video contest as part of Bike to School Week this year; students 18 and under are getting creative and filming short videos on the subject of active travel and vying for one of 5 cash prizes.
“Bike to School Week has really grown since the initial event in 2013 which saw 37 schools take part. This year 124 schools are registered to encourage active travel and host events” says Jel Kocmaruk, HUB’s Bike to School Week Coordinator. “School investment in active travel is growing as the impact of active travel students’ well-being and academic performance is recognized”.
HUB Cycling expects 10,500 students to take over 33,000 cycling trips and 15,000 walking or rolling trips throughout Metro Vancouver this week, with some schools achieving up to 55% cycling mode share and others successfully supporting 71% of their students to try cycling to school at least once throughout the week.
Bike to School Week is generously sponsored by TransLink, the Province of British Columbia, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and BCAA, whose School Safety Patrol program supports thousands of elementary school children across B.C. to volunteer as road safety leaders; helping fellow students to cross the street safely while keeping traffic flowing in their school zones. “Choosing active travel, whether it’s walking, biking or wheeling to school – is an effective way to reduce congestion as well, which is why we’re proud to support Bike to School Week” says Shawn Pettipas, Director of Community Engagement at BCAA.
From 2015-2016 Selkirk Elementary also participated in a School Travel Planning process funded by the City of Vancouver which resulted in improved infrastructure surrounding the school as well as a map identifying the safest walking and cycling routes for parents. Excitement at Selkirk and schools across the region this week is a result of teachers, school staff, and parents coming together with the support of the local school districts to plan celebrations and activities that allow students and their families to utilize safe infrastructure and routes to school and enjoy arriving energized and ready to learn. "As an enthusiastic cyclist myself, it is important that we continue to educate our students on sustainable ways to travel”, says Janet Fraser, Vancouver School District Board Chair. “It’s initiatives like this by HUB that help make cycling fun while teaching our students the benefits of alternative transportation”.