Today is National Walk and Bike to School Day. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, over 1,400 schools nationwide registered for the event and there was even a story about it on US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s blog.
I rolled out to two schools in north Portland this morning to check out the action (more photos below). When I got back to my office and went online, I searched for press releases, Twitter updates, and so on from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; but there were none to be found.
Turns out that in Portland, National Walk and Bike to School Day isn’t a big deal. Biking and walking to school certainly is, but this particular national holiday doesn’t register. And you can’t blame PBOT and the BTA. They oversee some of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful walking and biking to school programs in the country.
This collective yawn from local advocates and our transportation bureau reminds me of other national bike events that don’t really make much noise here. I’m thinking of critical mass, the New Belgium Tour de Fat, the Bicycle Film Festival, and so on. Each one of those still happen in other cities, but they’ve come and gone in Portland due to lack of interest and a local preference for home-grown versions and other pursuits.
Even so, there were still special celebrations at some local schools and, like everyday, there were tons of kids walking and biking to school in Portland today! Below are a few photos from Trillium Charter School and Beach School in North Portland…