Getting Parents to ride to school with their kids

I need your help. I'm on a team at my son's elementary school at Heatherwood Elementary and our goal is to find ways to get more kids (parents) to ride to school for a week in late April. I say parents because I my opinion it is the parents that put up the road blocks to having their kids ride to school... to dangerous Joey, to far Sarah, Sorry Fred but we are running late, it takes to much time....

We will be giving away food to the parents (looking for donations) and prizes to the kids (more donations still seeking), to help encourage them but I'm not sure some parents will budge even at that.

I reviewed the results of a recent survey done asking parents whey they don't ride more to school with their child and I was SHOCKED to see that the number 1 reason was crossing 75th street (between Jay and Lookout). I've hung out at a few cross walks recently on that road and do not feel that the road is dangerous for PARENTS with children to cross but might be if Joey, the 3rd grader, was alone.

So, many questions here...
1. Parents say the road is dangerous, and I assume it is because THEY choose NOT to ride with their children, how do I encourage them to ride with them?

2. Maybe parents think cycling themselves across 75th is dangerous, how can they feel safer?

3. What carrot will it take to get them to ride in with their Children in that week in late April? Do I focus on things to give the parents that might be cool OR get cool things for the kids to "pull" their parents out the door with them.

4. Bottom line, how do you get kids to ride to school more?

Lots of questions and I greatly appreciate your feedback!

News Item: 

3 Comments

Kris -- please check out

Kris -- please check out http://www.freiker.org since they are in your backyard. They are pretty nicely organized.

The Freiker crew is making cycling to school work for little kids (and parents) and is involved with Safe Routes at the national level. I heard their exec director tell a funny story about the national meeting last year. The key note speaker was saying something about how no one was tracking riders because it wasn't possible yet -- while Freiker has been tracking daily rides against weather for several years now.

I think they are expanding to schools outside of Boulder next school year, but they need donations to help fund this expansion since K-12 school aren't exactly overflowing with funds.

Also see this recent blog post by a Trek employee:

http://1world2wheels.org/blog/boulder-colorado-kids-earn-rewards-for-rid...

It does start with the

It does start with the parents. My wife has a rule, if it is 25 degrees or warmer and the streets are mostly clear, they bike the 2 miles to school. She is fortunate that there is a path under Broadway so they do not have to cross the busy street; however, the sidewalk south is NEVER cleared. I point this out because there are MANY obstacles that stand in the way, particularly when it comes to safety and to convenience.
Dedicated and perhaps separate bike paths are the only way to make a parent feel as though their young child will be safe. If we view schoold as hubs, there should be dedicated paths that extend from the school in all directions.
I consider 75th street to be a difficult street to cross and would not want my child to do so alone. That street needs an over/under pass for children. I think that the funds for such should come out of the transportation budget. (start my rant now) Sedentary people, that is motorist, think that is absurd and asks why should THEIR taxes pay for bike paths. The answer to that is simple. The more bikes off of "your" street, the fewer obstacles and the faster you get to go.