A recent study conducted by researchers at McMaster University and the University of Toronto found that students who spend time near designated drop-off or pick-up zones breathe elevated levels of pollution from idling cars nearby. It’s a particular concern for kindergarten students whose outdoor play areas are often near the drop-off zones.
Tackling this issue can be solved by walking your kids to school or biking with them! Besides reducing pollution in front of schools, there are many benefits to encouraging your kids to get to school in an active way so that they are healthier and exposed to fewer harmful particles in the air.
Community initiatives in Hamilton, like Bike for Mike, are inspiring the next generation to get to school by biking. With over 600 bikes provided to elementary students in Hamilton’s North End, the Daily School Ride is a fun and safe way for kids to bike to school. Leaders chaperone the front and rear of the bike train to demonstrate safe riding and ensure that everyone gets to school safely.
A great way to begin biking to school is to set a challenge – bike once a week to start off! Then gradually increase until you are biking every day of the week. Together, we can work together to make school zones safer for everyone.