Green Action Centre awarding over 20 bike racks to Winnipeg Schools
Free upgrades to school cycling infrastructure encourages students and staff to cycle
Winnipeg, MB – Green Action Centre is partnering with the City of Winnipeg to provide bike racks and cages to over 20 schools in Winnipeg. This partnership intends to remove barriers associated with active school travel, improving the personal and environmental health of Winnipeg communities.
MIKAELA MACKENZIE | WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 2019
Reported bike thefts in Winnipeg increased by 82% between 2012 and 2017 – a reality deterring students from biking to school. When secure bike parking is provided, it encourages children to cycle to school and helps parents feel more comfortable about their children bringing bikes to school. It’s a simple and effective way for schools to promote active school travel.
“If students were to have a safe and appealing space to leave their bikes, the likelihood is that they will feel more comfortable and safe biking” explains Ryan Smithson, teacher at West St Paul School.
Walking and cycling as a means of transportation are on the decline in Canada, part of a decades-long trend toward sedentary lifestyles and increased vehicle dependency. Reliance on vehicle travel is a major factor in physical, mental and emotional health issues in children. Only 35% of 5- to 17-year-old children are reaching their recommended amount of daily physical activity (ParticipACTION 2015), demonstrating an urgent need for improved active school travel infrastructure. “Having secure bike parking is a simple way to make biking an easier choice for students and their families,” says Sean Carlson, Active and Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator at Green Action Centre. “Many schools either have poorly designed racks that make it difficult to properly secure a bike, or they don’t have bike parking at all.”
Schools can apply for their chance to win a bike rack at greenactioncentre.ca/bikeparking by April 26th, 2019.
Green Action Centre’s Active and Safe Routes to School program works to increase the number of students using active modes of transportation to and from school. Increased active school travel has personal and community benefits, including increased physical activity, improved concentration and mental health, reduced traffic congestion, and safer, calmer streets.