It was wonderful to see the participation of kids walking and rolling to school build up from week to week.
“Over the course of the five weeks, we started with 56% at the start of the campaign and grew into 71% of the kids walking or rolling to school by the last week on Oct. 2,” said Tanya Pearson, principal of St. Helena Elementary School.
She continues, “The bike rodeos, organized by the St. Helena Police Department and the Napa County Office of Education, were a big hit with the children and we would definitely like to have those set up again. It was all awesome.”
One of the Wednesdays was Hawaiian theme and the children were allowed to come in Hawaiian clothes to school. Briana Marie was there to take some great photos of the kids together with the mountain bike club.
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Mayor Geoff Ellsworth was very hands-on and present most Wednesdays. The children had conversations with him, while the mayor, together with many parent volunteers, were handing out incentives from the Safe Routes to School program and Clif bars.
What became very clear during this period (Sept. 4 through Oct. 2) is the request by many for more strategic crosswalks through town, especially along Spring Street. The second crucial point is the crossing at Starr Avenue and Pope Street where cars don’t see the flashing light and often don’t stop. In order to make a change, the city needs to hear from all through email or public comment and we will collect comments to present together.
We are looking into a continued system with trained crossing guards and are also working on a comprehensive plan to address all your concerns. If you would like to volunteer, be a sponsor, join our meetings, have some great ideas or want to voice your concerns, please share it with us. Our meetings are open to the public, every first Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m., at the Public Works Conference Room, 1572 Railroad Ave.
Editor’s Note: Henquet Sprengers is a member of the city’s Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee, which presented “Walk and Roll to School Wednesdays,” with other partners, including the St. Helena Rec Department, Napa County Department of Education and the Napa Biking Coalition.