Walking and Rolling to School in San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at San Francisco's Walk and Roll to School Day, photo courtesy Mayor's Office

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at San Francisco's Walk and Roll to School Day. Photo courtesy Mayor's Office

Walk and Roll to School Day was on October 8, and I participated in an amazing event with Mayor Ed Lee and members of San Francisco’s Safe Routes to School partnership.

Nearly 90 schools and 14,000 children across San Francisco participated in the record-breaking event. More than 85 percent of San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools participated, growing the event by ten percent this year.

I spent the day at a media event in San Francisco with students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School in the Mission district, where more than 150 students walked with parents, or joined one of five walking school buses. The weather was great, and the students so enthusiastic! The school is relatively new to the San Francisco Safe Routes to School program. 

Mayor Ed Lee gave a great speech emphasizing recent infrastructure improvements around the school and in the city, reaffirming the city’s commitment to Vision Zero – a goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero in ten years. The Mayor was joined by other San Francisco dignitaries such as Supervisor Jane Kim, Superintendent Richard Carranza, Police Chief Greg Suhr, SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, SF Department of Public Health Officer Tomás Aragon, and SF Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg, as well as school Principal Tina Lagdamen.

California law provides for slower speed limits of 15mph in school zones, but Bessie Carmichael Elementary cannot utilize those protections because state law precludes these slow zones on wide, fast streets such as those around the school. Thus the need for infrastructure improvements is even more imperative.

More info can be found at Walk San Francisco, and the story was covered by the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner.