Green Wheel Now in Operation!
What a great way to kick off the Walk + Bike Challenge Month at Roosevelt Middle School. The designBridge team received final approval on Monday for the new bike parking structure they designed, permitted and constructed over this past year and Roosevelt students now have a great new, safe, and dry space to park their bikes at school.
The designBridge project originally worked with Edison Elementary during 2008/2009 to rebuild their bike parking area to include new racks, a beautiful mural, new lighting and benches. That area is now a magnate for parents and kids to gather at arrival and departure times and shows that biking is a valued form of transportation at the school.
For 2009/2010 a new designBridge team started working with Roosevelt Middle School to reconstruct their bike parking area which included a cover that didn’t actually keep the bikes dry because it was so high, an unattractive chain link fence, and out of date wheel-bender racks all tucked away at the very back of the school. Working with students, staff, and parent volunteers the designBridge students worked through the Fall of 2009 to come up with a design and during the Winter and Spring they worked on permitting, fundraising, refining the design, more permitting, more fundraising, more revisions of design until finally it became clear that it wasn’t going to happen during the school year. But the persistence of the team and it’s leadership had them working through the summer to continue the process. Many issues were dealt with and it turned out to be a great learning experience for the University of Oregon School of Architecture students. The project coordinator, Sylvan Cambier, along with other team members, worked hard to refine the design and find donations and funding that would complete the project. They received final approval to start building in the Fall and between their other school work, Roosevelt’s class schedule, all the rain, surprise pipes, and final design tweeks they completed the structure in April and received final approval from the City and 4J to start using the structure at the beginning of May. As National Bike Month and Oregon’s Walk + Bike Challenge Month it’s perfect timing! Since the rain is still coming down students will enjoy dry bikes for the first time at Roosevelt! Having this new spot to park bikes, along with the Freiker system and other encouragement events shows students that biking to school is a valued and celebrated mode of transportation. We’ve already seen our numbers of cyclists grow at the school and I’m sure that trend will continue.
There are still some finishing touches to be made to the bike parking area, including new racks and the great news is that there’s funding for that! As part of the SRTS infrastructure grant received this spring the City of Eugene will be working with 4J to purchase racks for three area schools, including Roosevelt, and we hope to get them installed this summer. In the mean time students now have a more inviting dry place to lock up their bikes. We’ll be celebrating the Walk + Bike Challenge Month and the ribbon cutting for the new structure next week after school!
designBridge continues their amazing work and another team has already made great strides on another bike parking structure, this one at Camas Ridge Elementary and they are looking ahead to the next school year as well. This collaboration of University students and faculty, local school districts and their students, parent volunteers, local contractors, engineers, architects, and the City is a great example of the type of work Safe Routes to School is working towards. By engaging the community in ways to make it safer, easier, more comfortable and fun for kids to walk and bike to school these groups and individuals are showing kids how adults can ‘play together’ to make great things happen!