SAN FRANCISCO (10/5)- Over 13,000 San Francisco children at 95 schools took to their feet, trekking up and down hills, through neighborhoods and across streets this morning as they made their the way to school with their parents and school mates as part of walking school buses today, to celebrate the 20th Annual International Walk and Roll to School Day.
This year, families at Feinstein (Dianne) Elementary School in the Outer Sunset were met by a special guest—in addition to walking to school with Mayor Edwin M. Lee, District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang, City Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh, and other City leaders—students were greeted for the first time by San Francisco’s Vision Zero SF Hero! Draped in a crosswalk cape and armed with 15 MPH school speed limit signs and speed detectors, the Vision Zero Hero led the children with a safety cheer as they walked and wheelchair rolled from Parkside Square to school.
“We have lowered the speed limits around our schools and continue to engineer our streets to make them safe,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee “Because whether our City’s students walk, bike, take the bus or carpool to school, their safety is our number one priority.”
S F City & County Assessor Recorder Carmen Chu said,"I'm just happy to help promote Vision Zero SF and pedestrian safety at Feinstein (Dianne) Elementary. We want to make sure that we promote pedestrian safety and safer streets. This is a great way to support healthy behaviors as well..."
Heidi Anderson PR Manager for the SFUSD pointed out, "Fun Fact, The Interim Supervisor Myng Leigh walks to work every day..." This was confirmed by Leigh. "We know from research that children who walk or roll to school are healthier from the exercise, and many of them get other benefits as well, including important bonding time with the family and friends who accompany them,” said Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh. “I myself walk to work every morning. I love having this time to reflect and plan about the day ahead of me."
Leigh also stated,"We want to promote kids and families working and biking to school and work. It's good for the body, good for the spirit and good for the environment. The most important thing is that we want children to arrive at school safely, supporting Vision Zero SF, along with city and community efforts to make sure no pedestrian fatalities occur..."
Chelsea Strawter, Education Outside said about the event,"I think it’s a great way to get kids thinking about getting to school!"
Danielle Patton, CEO of Kid Carpool (see: https://kidcarpool.com/en-us/) said,"I think the turnout has been impressive from the school and the community. It's exciting to be part of this effort to improve safe and environment focused routes to school for San Francisco students."
Parents Robert and Melissa Mogannam said of the event,"We walk to school everyday! We live just 4 blocks from school. It's impressive to see so many people here on the first week of school. There are lots of people we have seen in our neighborhood walking to school with their kids. Events like this make us feel more like a part of the community, walking to school...."
Parent Michelle Smith echoed those sentiments saying,"My kids were very excited to be here today...." In regards to walking to school, "Its a good reminder to enjoy the morning!"
Today’s celebration is part of two broader, related efforts to ensure children can walk and wheelchair roll safely to school everyday. The San Francisco Safe Routes to Schools Partnership, led by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, with partners including Walk San Francisco among others, works to support and encourage families to walk to school every day. Walking, biking, and taking transit to school makes up 44% of trips to the 35 public schools that are part of the Safe Routes to Schools program, and Walk and Roll to School Day kicks off the year- long effort to increase that percentage for the health and sustainability of San Francisco’s children and communities.
Parents cite traffic safety as the most common barrier to walking. The City’s Vision Zero SF policy is addressing this through two critical campaigns: one addresses speeding, the most common cause of traffic deaths with the recently launched Safe Speeds SF enforcement campaign, the second raises critical funding needed to build a safe transportation system.
“In San Francisco, taxpayers spend exponentially more on treating those who have been injured—or worse, killed—by traffic crashes than on safety measures that would protect our most vulnerable community members, especially children,” said Walk San Francisco Executive Director, Nicole Ferrara. “This November, by voting yes on Propositions J and K, voters will have the chance to treat the causes, not the symptoms, of this public health crisis and turn the tide so that families can rely on safe streets.”
San Francisco’s Vision Zero Hero agrees, “I’m here as your champion to ensure that San Francisco is a place where everyone—from one to 100 years-old—can walk safely on our streets.”
- Nicole Ferrara, Executive Director,
& Jose Ricardo G. Bondoc
My name is Danielle and I'm the CEO of KiDCarpool. My goal is to provide services catering to busy families and local communities communities.
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