Number of students that bike and walk to school at all-time low

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2015) — Be on the lookout for young students walking and riding bikes to and from school Wednesday for National Bike to School Day.

There are plenty of physical benefits and it reduces traffic congestion, but the vast majority of students arrive to school in a vehicle.

In 1969, 50% of students walked or biked to school. By 2009, that dropped to just 13% of students.

Thirty six Indiana schools are participating in National Bike to School Day.

One of those is Center For Inquiry (CFI) School 27 in Marion County.

“We’re one of three IPS schools that was able to register for this event,” said Karen Young, Parent Champion for School’s Safe Routes to School Program. “And this being our first year, we’re very excited to be in this small group, but hopefully a growing group, that joins a national event and really encourages students and families to walk or bike or ride some kind of alternate transportation to school.”

“We’ve been working all year to be sure that the students and families have safe routes to get to school, so it’s culminating in this national event.”

Dorene Hoops son attends CFI School 27 and she hopes fellow parents give it a try.

“This really gets the word out that guess what, you can get on your bike, get to school, get some exercise and start your day off on the right foot,” said Hoops. “I think what’s unique about it is it’s a sense of community too. Because sometimes we get into our old routines, we get in our car and we don’t have a chance to talk with our school friends in a different environment. So this gets us out together, gets us to form a sense of community, and I think really creates stronger bonds within our school community. The more people we have participating, the better support we’ll get from the community as well.”

Ten IMPD officers, along with Boomer from the Indiana Pacers, will bike and walk alongside the CFI School 27 students.

Tips on how to organize a Walk to School Day event at a school or in a neighborhood are available here.

The Indiana Safe Routes to School Partnership works to increase the number of children safely walking and biking to school throughout the state by sharing information, resources, technical assistance and ideas. It is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Health by Design and comprised of government, community, health and education organizations. For more information, click here.

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