Central Coast develops programs for Bike to School Day

May 5, 2015

Children participate in a SLO County bike event
Credit SLO County Bike Coalition

  Wednesday is National Bike to School Day and while it helps motivate kids and parents to use bikes instead of cars, the influx of new riders also causes some safety concerns.

Bike to School Day events may vary from county to county, but the goal is the same said Kent Epperson, with Traffic Solutions in Santa Barbara.

"We know that if we can get kids on bikes as early as possible they will become responsible and skilled bicyclists as they move through life. It's a great way for kids to incorporate some exercise," said Epperson.

For many parents, safety is a concern. Stephanie Hicks is with SLO Regional Ride Share and said there are programs in place to help with this including bicycle trains and guided rides. 

"A lot of getting kids to ride their bike to school has to do with making parents comfortable. Getting the parents out there and getting them comfortable with making the route on a bike is huge," said Hicks.

Kim Stanley is the Santa Barbara coordinator of the Safe Routes to School program, a part of the

   Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST). She said that if more kids walk or ride, there won't be as many cars, leading to safer school zones.

"If you talk to the police department, parents are usually the ones getting the tickets in the school zones because they are late dropping their kids off for school," said Stanley.

There will be more inexperienced riders on the roads, so organizers ask drivers to be exceptionally cautious. 

Central Coast biking information:

Traffic Solutions, Santa Barbara

SLO RideShare

Safe Routes to School Program