No sooner did Brad post about the dismal state of biking to school in most of the country than City Room published this great little story about the opposite trend here in New York. A few dozen schools are trying to make it easier for students and parents to bike in every day. Writing for the "Spokes" column, Josh Brustein profiles Meghan Faux and her daughter Ryan, who ride to P.S. 261, an elementary school in Boerum Hill:
There are no estimates about how prevalent bicycle commuting is
among parents, students and teachers at New York City’s schools, but a
morning spent in front of P.S. 261 gives credibility to Ms. Faux’s
claim that she is not an anomaly. P.S. 261, which has about 830
students, is one of 34 schools to have requested that the Department of
Transportation install bike racks through the department’s CityRacks
program. Last spring, the department installed five bike racks in front
of the school, giving parents an alternative to the chain-link fence
that they had been using to lock up bicycles to that point.
The school’s principal, Zipporiah Mills,
said that the racks had made it easier on parents, and that the
popularity of bringing children to school on bicycles had been growing
for several years.
Also among the parents Brustein interviews: Livable Streets Education director Kim Wiley-Schwartz, who’s raising two kids to ride bikes.
This actually got me thinking about Saturday night’s bike slam design battle. Team New York, you were on to something with this whole Safe Zones thing. How many more parents and childrens would bike to school if they had safe routes to travel?