BEND, OR -- Students at Bend's newest middle school are embracing alternative sources of transportation. More than 100 kids biked to Pacific Crest Middle School this week, but there's only room to accommodate a third of them.
It's a problem Brian Potwin with Commute Options likes to see. "The school itself is super excited about this. They are recognizing that they need more bike racks. They only have bike racks for 32 students, and yesterday [Monday] they had 105 students ride to the school. They are lacking a little bit in the parking situation, but Commute Options is helping them. We donated five bike racks to Pacific Crest Middle School to help them out." But, he says they still need more.
Potwin says PCMS kids seem to "get it." He tells KBND, "We have a lot of different encouragement programs that Commute Options uses to get kids to bike and walk to school. But, when you look at the community as a whole around Pacific Crest Middle School, you have neighborhoods that are quite close to the school, which actually have good connections through the transportation system that allows students to have not only an easy but safe and comfortable ride to school."
The principal has set the goal of getting more than 200 kids to bike and walk to school. Potwin is thrilled with the large turnout, already. "It's important to start the day with physical activity to get our brains engaged so we can be active learners. It's important because of the child obesity rate within the United States and how the 30 minutes-a-day of activity is essential and can be done while walking or biking to school. And, it's important for our environment."