*UPDATED MAY 7th 2021:
My request for information was returned with the following costs (see response #2) for bike racks and cages. Bike Racks could cost $750,000 across the district, but cages could cost $3.5 million across the district.
This was another issue that I know many Trustees wanted to see addressed but was stalled because of the Pandemic. Safe, quality bike racks, and bike cages are essential to supporting active transportation needs for students, staff and families.
On Tuesday, April 13th as part of our annual budget process (see the distribution of funds report), I will be asking my colleagues to amend the budget to specifically provide funds for quality bike racks and cages at schools, just as we allocate almost $500,000 for EPSB District Parking lots. The cost of a bike cage to a school is estimated to be approximately $16,000.
I believe this is one of those areas where the Board should not leave action up to individual schools through site-based decisions. There should be a clear, consistent, and enforceable policy throughout the district, funded through on par with parking lots. I hope that this support from Edmonton Public Schools will catalyze further action from the provincial government to mandate (and fund) the provision of active transportation infrastrucutre for all schools.
In 2016, I hosted an event with community leaders about eliminating the barriers to active transportation for schools. My friend Troy provided an excellent recap of the role that all orders of government, neighbourhoods, and community leaders can play.
With the COVID19 pandemic and promotion of physical distancing, more families will be choosing to drive their children to school rather than take the bus. For our neighbourhoods, this will mean more congestion, traffic, stress, and chaos around our schools between pick-up and drop-off times. For our children, this means more inactivity. Children will be sitting for longer in classrooms with limited opportunity for physical activity. Walking or wheeling — even part of the way to or from school — can have a positive impact on student achievement and overall wellbeing.
How we can promote public health by choosing to walk or wheel to school. How can we promote healthy schools and healthy communities? How can we grow already exciting and innovative approaches? How can we help community leagues and schools collaborate in a time of financial austerity? We know that bike theft is a major deterent.
Since 2012, all EPSB Schools have been required to have an active transportation plan. Please speak to your principal if you have further questions.
From EPSB Active Transportation Recommendations:
Many students choose to walk, ride or roll to school.
Active transportation helps to:
• improve safety by reducing traffic congestion in school zones
• alleviate pressure on neighbouring residents and businesses
• promote health and fitness
• reduce the environmental impact of driving
For more information about active transportation and safe, walkable neighbourhoods:
• talk to your school principal
• school travel planning and Winter Walk Day at Active & Safe Routes to School
Ever Active Schools:
Students experience increased health outcomes and come to school better prepared to learn; traffic congestion in school zones is reduced and therefore safety is improved; and greenhouse gas emissions are greatly reduced. At Ever Active Schools, we have plenty of experience working with school communities and building relationships with schools across other portfolios of work. That, combined with our mandate of building and supporting healthy school communities, puts us in a unique position to carry out work within the Active School Travel realm. We work with many partners to resolve barriers to active travel. Our approach to Active School Travel fuses Comprehensive School Health with School Travel Planning, a model that originated with Green Communities Canada and Ontario Active School Travel.
Bike Racks are available for purchase from Bike Edmonton