Palo Alto schools are celebrating Walk & Roll Week this week, with activities designed to encourage students to walk, bike, skateboard, scooter, carpool or ride the bus to school.
The goal of the week is to reduce the number of students arriving solo by car, thus easing congestion around schools and lessening greenhouse gas emissions.
Barron Park Elementary School students marked Walk & Roll Day on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and were rewarded with a visit from the Barron Park Donkeys, Perry and Niner, parent Cheryl Burns reported.
The event attracted city and school officials, she said. Palo Alto Mayor Yiaway Yeh arrived by bike and handed children Barron Park school pencils and stickers. Camille Townsend, a Palo Alto school board member, also greeted Walk and Rollers.
Barron Park Principal Magdalena Fittoria had participating students sign a Walk and Roll poster displayed in front of the school, according to Burns.
"The morning was calm, fun and a great success. The cars that morning were minimal, and the bike racks quite full with last count at 83 bikes," Burns said.
The annual bicycle count at the high schools last week showed the continued popularity of bicycling, according to Kathy Durham of the City of Palo Alto. At Gunn, two days' counts of the school's bike cages totaled 732 bikes and 768 bikes, up from 679 last year.
At Paly, where construction has hampered bike parking, the count last week was 758, slightly down from 787 last year, Durham said. But at both high schools, the number of cyclists has increased dramatically since 2001, when 160 bikes were counted at Paly and 230 at Gunn.