Wednesday is International Walk/Bike to School Day

250,000 kids nationwide expected to participate

File - Crosswalk Sign

TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) – School districts across Oregon and SW Washington will be participating in International Walk/Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

Communities in over 40 countries will be walking and biking to school.

Locally, the event is part of an effort to improve safe routes to school. According to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, more than 150 metro schools have registered with them for Wednesday’s event.

It’s estimated that more than 250,000 children across the United States will participate to learn about walking safely and encourage the creation of safe walking environments.

Anna Dragovich, the Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator for the city of Tigard, tells KOIN 6 News that approximately 500 students from Tigard schools will be walking and rolling with parents, teachers and community leaders.

“Our vision is for Tigard to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives,” said Kenny Asher, Community Development director. “Walk to school day events raise awareness for creating safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance boosting physical activity among children. They also highlight issues of pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and the environment. They build connections among families, schools and the broader community.”

According to the city, fewer children walk or bicycle to school than did so a generation ago: In 1969, 48 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 14 walked or bicycled to or from school. In 2009, 13 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 14 walked or bicycled to or from school. In Tigard, it is less than 10 percent.