Bike to School Week 2015 was held in Peel Region for the first time May 25-29th.
One of our Bike Brampton members encouraged her child’s school to be one of the 22 schools of the 396 in Peel that participated. Out of a student population of over 700, there were only 10 to 15 kids (maximum of 27) who regularly rode to school.
The encouraging school Principal at Robert J Lee in Brampton, announced the program on the school sign board.
On Tuesday, there were 53 bikes parked on the bike racks!
By Thursday, the number increased to 65. By Friday, cyclists caught the enthusiasm and increased to 77!!!
Our Bike Brampton member obtained some Walk+Roll Peel bells and installed them on the parked bikes to promote safety and enable the kids to comply with Ontario law.
Since Bike to School Week is completed, our BikeBrampton member / parent has noted that there are 35-55 bikes regularly parked each day at the school. Several of these elementary school children have started biking to school on their own. There are potentially 35-55 cars that are no longer causing congestion on the road at the school!
At another Brampton elementary school, Massey Street, one of our Bike Brampton members organized a bike rodeo for grade 4 & 5 kids during Bike to School week. She used the PSARTS-developed Peel Bike Rodeo Toolkit, worked with a public health nurse, a teacher, another parent volunteer and a couple of university students to teach bike safety, helmet fitting, proper signaling and road safety. She obtained sufficient bells from the Region of Peel Walk+Roll for all the bikes. About 100 kids that are usually are driven, biked or scootered that day. Massey is on a waiting list for bike rack installation.
Bike to School Week will be repeated again next spring in a GTHA wide program.
This October 2015 will be iwalk, International Walk to School Month, so we will be promoting all forms of active transportation during October!