A Bike-to-School Bright Spot in NYC

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?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Power of Parking Policy

|
This is the third in a three-part series on New York City parking policy.Part 1: The New York City Parking Boom  Part 2: Parking: If You Build it They Will Come… in Their Cars Over the course of the last year, New York City’s transportation policy community has spent tremendous time, energy and money pursuing […]

New York City’s New Bike Czar

|
Crain’s Insider reports: "Biking advocates are cheering the city Department of Transportation’s hiring of Josh Benson as bicycle program director. He steps into a tense situation." Update: We have a little bit more background on Benson. He served as the DOT Bike Program’s Deputy Director in the early 2000’s. Word has it, he left DOT to attend […]

Bike Bans: A Serious Threat to Safe Routes to School

|
Banned in NJ: Many Jersey towns don’t allow kids to bike to school. Photo: Voorhees Transportation Center Image Library, Leigh Ann Von Hagen. This May, a bill surfaced in the U.S. Senate that would triple federal funding for Safe Routes to School programs. Livable Streets Community activists have been on the case this week, mobilizing […]

Safer Bowery, LES Bike Lanes Clear Manhattan CB3 Committee

|
New bike routes will provide safer connections on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, in an attempt to divert cyclists from Delancey Street. Image: NYCDOT NYCDOT unveiled a slate of pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 3 last night. Presenters asked for votes on two street safety projects: […]