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Portland, Ore. – Safe Routes to School

The students and faculty of Sunnyside Environmental have an entire curriculum dedicated to bike safety that emphasizes using non-motorized when traveling to school. As early as second grade, the children ride their bicycles to school thanks to neighborhood traffic calming. Students also arrive by foot, skateboard, and scooter. In the morning, it's a fabulous melange of energy watching scores of parents drop off their children by bike!

<br> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[intro music]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Diana Christensen:</i> [00:23] I’m Diana Christensen. I teach physical education here at Sunnyside Environmental and we’re all into biking and riding and getting to school in alternative methods. A lot of kids bus. We have ride and walk and bike to school Fridays. Like Sarah, our youngest, definitely are kindergartners, we have several parents who ride to school, have their kids on the trailers on the bike, and then we have few first and second graders that will be ridden in escort with their parents. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [00:51] We get really creative around here about how to get more than one kid at a time on your bike, cos when you have two kids and neither of them is riding their own bike yet, you’ve got to figure out a way to haul everybody around. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [01:04] We carry three kids. Seter our son’s five and Kyla is three and Solson’s one, so we carry three and it works pretty well. Kyla rides after we drop off Seter and the kids are happy. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Diana Christensen:</i> [01:17] Originally when we first got here there weren’t any bike racks beyond the lawn out there on the playground. We had a set installed and kind of beginning to take a bend around the wall, you can see that they… already we’ve spilled over to the railing here. Need definitely more. You can also see that the structure’s covered. We have a pretty active volunteer group and a lot of parents who help, so they came out and installed the covers. Everybody brings their own locks, you know, and we certainly talk about the need to respect others property and how if it were your bike out here you wouldn’t want to come out here and find the lights on or somebody had taken something and that we just are going to be respectful of others property and recognising that that’s somebody’s transportation. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Sarah Taylor:</i> [02:01] Our goal here is to actually bring the neighbourhood in and have the neighbourhood be a teacher to the kids as well as the kids being a teacher to the neighbourhood. And we love what we see here at Sunnyside. We love the relationships that we’re having with the community and having people be able to bike to school is really an important part of that. And we also teach a bike curriculum as part of the school.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Diana Christensen:</i> [02:25] Fifth grader every year gets a ten hour instruction of Oregon traffic safety law around the use of their bicycle. And over the course of the week from Monday through Friday, by Friday we’re taking them on a trip around the city.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [02:40] Portland is a liveable city, as a bikeable city, is an amazing place to live because we can get almost everywhere as a family on our bikes and there’s nowhere else I’d live where you can do that as efficiently, as relatively safely. There’s a lot more awareness here among drivers… of bicyclists as equal users of the streets than there is in other places.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [03:05] There are two busy streets we have to cross to get here and we use crosswalks for both of those. And in fact today, you know, I was kind of nosing the chariot out there, looking both ways to see if any cars were coming and on my left somebody stopped and then a big truck was coming on the right, kind of a little maybe over the speed limit and he totally put on his brakes and stopped and we crossed the street. So that’s what I mean by a community, people care about each other and care about the kids and… so I feel really safe. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Diana Christensen:</i> [03:38] I love being in Portland, it’s a great place. My car died last year in August and I was like, whoa, what am I going to do? So I said, well I guess I’m going to ride my bike to school tomorrow, and then I rode it the next day, and then I rode it the next day and now I’m a commuter and I dig that Portland allows me to do that safely. </font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/
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  • pb

    Young people using their bikes for transportation. There is hope for the human race after all. Good for you Sunnyside/Portland! Plus bonus points: an Xtracycle AND a recumbent! The cat at the end of the video was really cool too. Clarence, shine on you crazy diamond.