October 7, 2009 was International Bike & Walk to School Day. Locally, the event was coordinated by Safe Routes to Schools of Alameda County, in conjunction with the City of Albany. At the event, AS&R members installed 150 free lights on the bikes of kids who rode to school at the three elementary schools (Ocean View, Marin and Cornell), as well as at Albany Middle School - a huge success!
AS&R member Amy Smolens originally found out about a company, DuraVision Pro, which manufactures and sells lights to communities for use in school child-safety programs (such as Safe Routes to Schools), then matches the number of lights purchased, enabling the community to give a free light away for each one purchased/sold. We had earlier received a generous donation from Grizzly Peak Cyclists, so the idea was proposed to the City of Albany and TransForm and the light giveaway program was born. Using the contribution from GPC as seed money for the program, we partnered with the City of Albany and Safe Routes to Schools of Alameda County / TransForm for the initial purchase of the lights, with the intention of distributing the "free" lights to the school kids in the Fall of 2009. Thus, International Bike & Walk to School Day presented the perfect and timely opportunity for AS&R to again perform some "hands-on" advocacy magic, installing the lights on kids' bikes (one for every light we'd sold at other community events earlier in the year (Bike to Work Day - AS&R Energizer Station, Spring Music & Art Festival, Green Albany Day, Solano Stroll, as well as tireless individual sales by Amy in the course of her work and travels.)
Having installed 150 lights at the International Bike & Walk to School Day event, we now need to sell more lights to keep the program going and self-sustainable. Help us give more kids lights by buying some for yourself or as gifts! ($8 ea, or 2 for $15). Contact Amy at email@example.com to buy some.
Photos from Ocean View school appear below. The TransForm / Safe Routes to Schools website (http://www.greenschools.net/article.php?id=147) and the Walk to School website (http://www.walktoschool-usa.org/faq/index.cfm) also give some additional info and photos about the Safe Routes to Schools program and the event.
See the article in our website which was published in GPC's November 2009 newsletter, Wheel Truth, in the link available below: