In many areas of the country the statistics are bleak - only a small fraction of children bike or walk to school. But in Portland they've had tremendous success bucking the trend: the number of kids that use their feet to get to school is up 25% since 2006!
Portland makes it happen through a unique blend of infrastructure, planning and community. They have a growing network of Neighborhood Greenways and by 2015, 80% of all Portland residents will be within a half mile of one. Communities also frequently schedule Bike Trains and Walking School Buses that encourages kids and their families to make the jaunt to school. One of the more incredible parts of their program you'll see is the 5th grade volunteers who help cross students to school in the morning, trained by the Portland Police..
Last month, Streetfilms was very lucky to be able to bike to school along with the family of new Portland Bureau of Transportation Director, Leah Treat. We also got to walk with Kristen and Dan Kaufman (of PDX-TV) and their kids. Although the United States has a long way to go, get motivated because if Portland can do it, your city can too.