News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
650-329-2607
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

10/3/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 10/03/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto Walks & Rolls Week
20 Year Partnership Creates Lasting Impact for Students
Contact : Kathy Durham, Safe Routes to School Coordinator    650-329-2568
Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley, PAUSD Communications Coordinator    408-396-7952
Palo Alto, CA – During the week of October 7-11, thousands of Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) students, parents and staff will celebrate Palo Alto Walks & Rolls by choosing alternatives to solo driving like walking, biking, skating, riding the bus, and carpooling. They join children from around the world in celebrating International Walk to School Day which is October 9. Students will be joined by parents, teachers, and community leaders in campus and community activities.

At many school sites, participating students will be adding dots to new Walk and Roll to School maps, showing their starting points and how they came to school. These new maps were created by the City of Palo Alto in collaboration with PAUSD and PTAs and funded by the VTA. They include tips on how to share the road safely and are designed to help families identify walking and biking routes to school. The maps illustrate locations of crossing guards, signalized intersections, bike lanes, and other facilities that support safer school commutes, and include guidelines for biking, walking and driving safely en route to schools.   

Other 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. 

Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff explains, “Working together in partnership, we have been able to reverse the trend of students being driven to school in Palo Alto. 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.”

PAUSD Superintendent Kevin Skelly added, “Palo Alto is one of the most bike-friendly and environmentally conscious communities in the country. I can think of no better way to start a morning than a healthy, zero-emissions trip to school or work!”  

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.  

This year the focus continues through the weekend at Bike Palo Alto! on Sunday, October 13. 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 more information.

For a complete list of activities, please contact Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley at thurley@pausd.org.  

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.  



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