Fri08012014

News

More Los Altos students walk, bike to school

A recent survey indicated that more Los Altos students are walking or biking to school than a decade ago. The Los Altos Traffic Commission and the Los Altos School District surveyed students attending the seven district elementary schools, Blach Junior High and Cupertino Union School District’s Montclaire Elementary last May to determine how they traveled to school on an average day. Egan Junior High did not participate in the survey. The compilation was “pretty simplistic,” said Los Altos Traffic Commissioner Bill Crook. On one particular day during morning attendance, teachers at the schools asked their students how they traveled to school that day, counted via a show of hands, and tallied the numbers, he said. Of the 4,158 students polled, 28 percent of students walked and 17 percent biked to school. A similar survey of 3,000 students conducted in 2001 reported that 19 percent walked and 13 percent biked to school. Almond School reported high numbers, with 51 percent of its students walking and 25 percent cycling. Springer documented 38 percent walking, Blach totaled 36 percent cycling – the other schools’ numbers fell in between. Almond’s numbers look high, but that may be inflated because the count was taken on a promotional day, Crook said. There were many rainy days in May, which perhaps skewed the survey numbers, he said. “These surveys tell us how we’re doing overall and whether we’re making any progress,” Crook said. With encouragement from PTA programs and grants from local organizations, more students are walking and biking to school than a decade ago. And this habit needs to be developed at a young age, Crook added. Almond’s “Freiker,” Santa Rita’s “Boltage” and Springer’s “WoW” programs have encouraged walking or biking to school. Students register at a campus checkpoint and radio-frequency identification tags clipped to their backpacks, bikes or scooters enable school officials to determine the distance the students traveled. Contact Jana Seshadri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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