Getting around town … by bike or on foot

By Laura Daniali | Mar 26, 2015

Two local men are encouraging Edmonds residents to forgo cars and try alternate forms of transportation – bikes and feet.

Peter Hallson of the Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group said the organization has led Basics of Bicycling workshops in the Edmonds School District for six years.

“When we started, we said we were going to do something to reduce obesity and get kids active in school,” he said.

It started small, with 30 bikes and one trailer, but in the first year the organization was able to get to eight schools, and teach about 2,000 kids about cycling safety.

Now, he said, they’ve trained about 10,000 students, and have hopes of reaching all students in the Edmonds School District.

“We’re excited about the fact that we will have students, and hopefully parents, that are accompanying those students on bikes to school, and our challenge is to get all 20,000 in the Edmonds School District riding, as well as their parents.”

The group has received donations and grants to help fund their efforts, and they would like to start including high schools in the program, and possibly start some competitive teams.

“The next dream for us is to move to the high schools,” Hallson said, “and we think we will have built enough culture within the school district to encourage and enforce maybe some competitive bicycling teams in the high school.”

Nathan Proudfoot is a neighborhood ambassador for Feet First, an organization that promotes walkable communities.

He said Feet First began in 1995 as a group of citizens and professionals interested in promoting walkable communities, and it works to ensure that all communities across Washington state are walkable.

“I am a volunteer neighborhood walking ambassador trained to lead walks that inspire, connect and inform the community,” Proudfoot said.

The walks provide the opportunity for people to explore their community together while meeting new neighbors.

“Walking is an important form of transportation that is healthier for us, better for our environment and safer for our communities.”

Proudfoot will be leading a community walk in conjunction with the The Rails to Trails Conservancy opening day of trails on March 28.

Rails to Trails is an organization that converts abandoned railroad tracks into usable trails for walking, hiking and biking.

The walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the Edmonds Train Station, 211 Railroad Avenue, and will cover a three-mile loop around town in about an hour and a half.

“This walk will go along the waterfront and through a section of trail that is on railroad property, and therefore, a rail trail,” Proudfoot said.

For more information on these organizations, visit www.wp.edmondsbicyclegroup.org and www.feetfirst.org.

 

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