Schools around Minnesota are marking an international event Wednesday to encourage walking and biking to school.
At Lyndale elementary in Minneapolis, dozens of students walked and biked to school, including 10-year-old Jasmine Taylor. Taylor said the school day at Lyndale starts and ends at times that make walking an option.
"Sometimes the people, they have extra time to play and stuff so if they walk here earlier they can go into the playground and wait until breakfast is about to start," Taylor said.
Lyndale school parents have organized what they call walking buses -- students and some parents who walk as groups to school every Wednesday through October. The Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago in 1997, modeled after the United Kingdom's walk-to-school events. More than one-half of the events are part of ongoing activities to promote walking and bicycling throughout the year.
In August 2005, federal legislation established a National Safe Routes to School Program that provided $612 million toward creating safer routes, among other things, from 2005 to 2010. The Twin Cities was among four metro areas last year awarded more than $17 million in federal funds to redesign key intersections to make them safer for walking and biking.