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Photos: Walk and Bike to School Day in Arlington

by ARLnow.com October 3, 2012 at 11:45 am 5,896 55 Comments

Today was “Walk and Bike to School Day” in Arlington and across the country.

The annual event in Arlington, organized by Arlington Public Schools (with the help of local PTAs), encourages students and parents to bike and walk to school more often. At Oakridge Elementary School, this year’s “spotlight school” for Walk and Bike to School Day, hundreds of students and parents walked, biked or even scootered to school.

Arlington County Police kept a close eye on the roads around the school in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood. Busy Arlington Ridge Road was temporarily shut down to allow a large convoy of kids and adults on bikes to make their way to the school, safely, from a “rest stop” at the historic Hume School (1805 S. Arlington Ridge Road).

After students arrived they gathered behind the school for a rally, featuring words of encouragement from Oakridge principal Dr. Lynne Wright, County Board member Walter Tejada, and ultramarathon runner (and Arlington resident) Michael Wardian. Wardian, along with some local triathletes and competitive cyclists, led students in a series of light physical activities.

APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy said Walk and Bike to School Day is a fun event that sends an important message about staying physically fit.

“I think the message is [encouraging] a well-balanced lifestyle,” he said. “We want to emphasize many of the things that the community values here. Biking and walking is part of the community, part of our value system, and I also think it’s something we want to encourage kids to do.”

Some parents weren’t fully sold on the message, though. One parent, armed with petition forms, wore signs protesting changes to the school system’s busing policies. Nearby, a minivan also had words of protest scrawled on its back window. The changes have meant that some students now have to either walk, bike or be driven to school since they’re no longer eligible to ride a school bus.

  • drax

    Thanks to the police, parks employees and other county people who were posted at dangerous crossings this morning.

  • novasteve

    Just to be aware, in Moco today two teens got hospitalized after they got hit by a car walking to school today on this walk to school day.

  • sunflower

    5, 4, 3, 2……

  • CW

    Shortly after the photo was taken, they were ticketed for riding three abreast and impeding the flow of traffic…

    • happycyclist


  • DarkHeart

    Romney Signs 1
    Obama Signs 0

    Equal time dammit!

  • JHC

    Jumpin’ Jesus! What will the voucher parents who’s kids have to walk a half mile think about this?

  • MB

    This is great to see. And while I understand why ACPD would be helpful on an event day (i.e., lots of people who don’t usually ride/walk joining), Arlington needs to make sure that we have the infrastructure for these kids to walk/bike to school *everyday* without help from ACPD.

    • GodFila

      Yes let’s raise taxes even more and hire some
      more lackeys just to “make sure”….

      Or maybe you can turn off your bluetooth headsets
      and pay attention for a change… check back in.

      • curious

        when is the last time Arl County raised tax rates?

        • nom de guerre

          This year-April 2012.

          • TCE

            Raising Taxes and Raising Tax Rates is two different things. If the values of property falls then you need to raise the rate to continue collecting the same amount of money… but that’s a tax rate increase without a tax increase…. just pointing out the difference not making a case.

          • GodFila

            Or possibly just inflate the property assessments…
            instant jackpot without having to do those pesky scratch offs.

          • nom de guerre

            From the County’s website:
            “On April 21, 2012 the Arlington County Board adopted a $1.052 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 that includes a 1.3-cent increase in the property TAX RATE and additional funding for affordable housing, maintenance of County-owned facilities and infrastructure, employee compensation and core services.

            The real estate TAX RATE will rise by 1.3 cents, from 95.8 cents per $100 of assessed value (including the sanitary district tax) to 97.1 cents per $100 of assessed value. The overall tax and fee burden for the average Arlington homeowner will increase 2.4% — or about $13 a month.”


          • drax

            Don’t bother. About 1/3rd of posters here can’t understand the difference, and another 1/4th pretend not to so they can try to score political points with the 1/3rd.

  • Irony

    I bet those same parents that complained about their kids now having to walk to school daily, also encouraged their kids to walk to school today. But not tomorrow, that’s not walk to school day, that’s just crazy talk. Only on designated days. I bet they only eat tacos once a year on Thursday too. But not Saturday, that’s National Noodle day.

    • drax

      Easily rectified with the consumption of a noodle taco.

      • Dr_Klahn

        Dude, I think you have a food truck idea…

      • WeiQiang

        … and a suitcase.

        • Ralph

          And a tuba.

    • John Fontain


    • happycyclist

      I think the idea of a day like this, like bike to work day, is to get people to realize its doable, which may change their choices the rest of the year.

      • GodFila

        Let’s trade in our road rage for bicycle rage for a day… yay

        • curious

          you seem to have a rage issue

          maybe you should vist artisphere this weekend, to relax

          • WeiQiang

            … in the solitude

  • Becoming indifferent

    This should be every day!

  • Already indifferent


  • Dave

    I don’t feel tardy.

  • Fat Guy on a Cervelo

    Those aren’t real cyclists. Where’s their corporate logo’d spandex and carbon fiber?

    • Crystal Lite

      Ha! This made me laugh.

  • Millionaire

    I’d love to have a dollar for every loosely worn helmet on both the children and adults in these pictures, why, I’d be a ….

    • Goob

      Gosh, how did any of us survive the 70’s when noone wore bike helmets and we were allowed to play with lawn darts? People in the 2050s are going to look back at us in the present day and be aghast that there was a time anyone went outside without their kevlar armour or robotic power suits.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Lawn darts were awesome. Excellent reference.

      • Millionaire

        This Millionaire well remembers being a target for lawn darts and has the 3/8th inch puncture scars to prove it.

        That’s not excusing the fact that you should properly wear and teach children how to wear their helmets, less their little soft form craniums also get punctured.

        Do your wear a seat belt when you are in a motor vehicle? I don’t remember those in the 70’s either.

        • Willard

          I am so tired of millionaires being targets

        • FoamDome

          Sure, but if you’re really concerned about protecting your head then why don’t you wear a motorcycle helmet which is designed to withstand significant impacts? Not a hard styrofoam shell, which doesn’t start to compress and absorb impact until such a force is applied that it’s enough to already cause a head injury if there’s a serious impact. Might protect you from a bump or a few scratches though if that’s all you’re after.

          Since far more pedestrians suffer fatal head injuries any given year than cyclists, why don’t you put on your helmet when you’re out walking around? Because most people know that the risk is low enough that it’s largely unnecessary except maybe in certain cases where you’re walking in a dangerous area (like a construction site). Which is the same with bike riding – except for road riding in traffic, bike helmets are largely unnecessary for a casual ride on the trails. And if you’re road riding and serious about protecting your pumpkin, then I go back to the assertion that you should be wearing a motorcycle helmet or at least an advanced bike helmet that is not just a hard foam cap (if such a thing exists). I’m sure bicycle helmet manufacturers love the false sense of security they’ve created though.

          *Cue cyclist outrage in 3…2…1…*

          • ohdearHelmetwars

            without going into them, if you are going to bother wearing a helmet of any variety, it makes sense to put it on correctly.

          • cyclist

            A motorcycle helmet would probably impede vision and hearing significantly on a bicycle, which imposes its own risks. Every sport has it’s own equipment.

            There’s no question that helmets make you safer – it’s not a false sense of security. And your claim about trail riding is bullsh*t – a trail accident can seriously F up your head too. The question is whether they are worth the cost. I’d say the benefit far outweighs the cost of the helmet and the inconvenience of wearing a light thing on your head, not really much different than a hat.

          • Benj

            how do you figure? Impeded vision? How about the idea that the level of protection built into the design of bicycle helmets shouldn’t be different from motorcycle helmets when the stakes are the same – getting into an accident at velocity greater than your noggin was designed for. Especially for street riders.

      • cyclist

        Some people didn’t survive the 70s. You should ask them about it. Oh wait, they’re dead.

    • about $5 richer?

  • Brian

    Today was a traffic NIGHTMARE. I waited over 20 minutes to get through the Arlington Ridge Rd/23st Street intersection. God, I hope they never do this again!

    • WeiQiang

      Did kids actually try to ride UP 20th & 23rd?? Other than a CF arising from a clog of bikes, why would the intersection have been tied up so much? Those lights have a pedestrian-only sequence on them already. Kids should have been able to cross in the normal time or have waited for the next cycle.

  • Chris B

    Nice article.

  • WFY

    Oops, did it all wrong. I thought it was bike to Nationals Park day. I feel so stupid now.


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