April 9, 2013 Leave a comment
Parents and school-community members are invited to participate in the spring Walk.Bike.Schools meeting 7pm Wednesday April 10. We’re headed to Ballard again, this time the Salmon Bay K-8 library.
In addition to our normal information sharing and bike-program planning, we’re hoping to talk a little bit about strateegery. It’s been a year since we kicked off this “program” (using the term loosely here) and it makes sense to step back and see who or what the group wants to be when we grow up. Anne first broached this in a message to the WalkBikeSchools Google Group, but we didn’t get any discussion on the list. It was April Fool’s day, so maybe folks were so busy with hi-jinks like freezing bed sheets and putting “Wet-paint” signs on dry paint. In a nutshell, we came up with a rough outline about who we are (much of it based on what we were thinking when we launched the group), but still need the group to help decide what we want to do.
Who/What is Walk.Bike.Schools?
This is first and foremost a parent group. We invite any interested parent who cares about walking and biking to school to join and participate. We also welcome neighbors of a school to participate [and members of a school staff/faculty]. Schools and neighborhoods should work together to encourage walking and biking to school.
This past year other groups have attended meetings and participated in the conversation surrounding walking and biking to school. From Bicycle Alliance, to SDOT, to Feet First, to Cascade Bicycle Club, to Undriving, to members of the Pedestrian Advisory Board and the Bicycle Advisory Board. Did I miss any? If you are a member of a group that cares about encouraging kids and families to walk and bike to school, you too are welcome. We will all likely have opportunities for collaboration.
We’ve added that to the “About” page here on the blog, but we’ve still got a bunch of decisions to make as a group. For example, are we happy just meeting every three or so times a year for general information sharing and bike and walk planning? Those are great activities and I think we can all agree it’s pretty helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off— especially if it’s someone from another school who’s already been through the startup phase! We’re all busy, so maybe that’s enough. Fair enough.
But there’s also an opportunity to use our unique position as parents to demand the city and SPS to do more to encourage active transportation. For example the district is making noises and passing resolutions about walking school buses. But so far, we haven’t seen much in the way of action beyond a survey. Does this group want to take a stand on things like that? Do we want to hold the district accountable to the safety and transportation issues we care about? As parents, I certainly feel we should, but whether we take an official group position is up to all of you.
That’s probably enough to chew on now. A brief agenda is below. As always, you are welcome to contribute your ideas. If you have a program to share (or questions/comments about starting a program at your schools) please come to the meeting.
- Welcome and Intro (Anne)
- 1 year check-in for Walk.Bike.Schools. Who are we? Do we need a mission or direction? What does the group want our role to be (Tim)
- Walking and biking to school in Seattle. Are there specific issues Walk.Bike.Schools wants to take a position on? If so, which and how do we act? (Clint)
- Loyal Heights bike club info and update (Shannon)
- Salmon Bay – getting a new bike and walk to school program off the ground, challenges etc (Karen)
- SDOT mini grants, How to keep track of expenses for year-end reporting (Anne)
- General bike to school month discussion, program & event tips, etc. Bring your questions and ideas and make use of the group’s collective wisdom (all)
A reminder for future events: We love mixing up the location of meetings and sharing the walk.bike.love with communities all over the city. If you want to host, give us a shout!