Courtesy of West Palm Beach Insider Newsletter

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio proclaimed May 10 as National Bike to School Day in West Palm Beach.

To celebrate, three schools in the City agreed to participate in “bike to school” events and the City coordinated giveaways at:

• Northmore Elementary School (4111 North Terrace Drive) on May 10, 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

• Roosevelt Middle School (1220 15th Street) on May 11, 7:05 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

• Grassy Waters Elementary School (3550 N. Jog Road) on May 12, 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Driving students to school contributes to traffic congestion. Air pollution and a lack of physical activity play a leading role in rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems among children. Being able to bicycle or walk to school offers an opportunity to build activity into the daily routine.

“The City is committed to creating safer routes for bicycling and walking,” said Muoio. “A mobility study now underway will help the City plan its future transportation network. The City is also developing a bicycle master plan to create a list of suggestions for bicycle improvements that can be executed over time.”

The City is sending bikeability audits to participating schools to better understand the quality of the students’ bike routes, a recommended action that resulted from the recent Gehl study of the City.

The City is also applying for grants and developing roadway improvement projects to make immediate changes to enable children and adults to more safely bicycle and walk in the community.

Heather Tribou, Development Services Department Senior Planner , cautioned parents and caregivers to determine “the bikeability of their community” and children to remember to wear their bike helmets. “It’s important to identify any potential challenges and dangers to safe bicycling,” Tribou said.

Motorists were advised to be extra patient and to slow down near these schools on their ‘Bike to School Day’ and every day.