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Walk + Bike to School Day celebrates 11 years

Thousands of families will get out of their cars Oct. 3 for Walk + Bike to School Day, the city’s 11th annual celebration.

More than 60 schools are expected to participate, about a dozen of which have regular “bike trains” — organized rides for students to get to school and home safely.

At Lewis School in Woodstock, Portland school leaders and city leaders will gather to talk about the benefits of walking and biking to school. About 200 Lewis students will participate.

Principal Tim Lauer, PPS Board Member Greg Belisle, Dr. Lucy Douglass from Kaiser Permanente, Portland Timbers Ambassador Scot Thompson and representatives from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Portland Police Bureau and Portland Bureau of Transportation will be on hand starting at 8 a.m.

Lewis students have a “walking school bus” as well as a bike train.

During the past eight years, Portland’s Safe Routes to School program has increased the number of trips elementary students are making by bike and foot.

Data shows it’s 40 percent of their trips, a 9 percent increase since the program started and higher than the national average of 12 percent.