Wouldn’t it be nice to walk or ride your bike to school, work or to go shopping? That’s one of the goals of the Deschutes County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, also known as BPAC.
The group held its annual summit on Thursday.
“There’s lots of data that shows students who walk or bike to school are able to focus better once they are in the classroom,” said Whitney Bennett from Commute Options.
Safe routes to schools were among many subjects discussed during the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee’s first summit in two years.
Transportation experts promoted the benefits of getting students who live close to schools to participate in walking school buses. Those are adult-guided groups of students who learn safe ways to get to school.
“We’ve been working with Deschutes County on their Transportation System Plan which is updated every 10 years. Our goal is to make bicycling and walking a much bigger part of that,” said David Tomson, BPAC Chair. “The county has been very good to work with and I think that’s going to happen.”
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee’s mission is to promote and encourage safe bicycling and walking as a significant means of transportation in Deschutes County. Its goals include:
- Engaging in ongoing conversations about e-bike rules and use
- Participating in planning of transportation infrastructure projects
- Community outreach
After the meeting, some BPAC members took a walking tour of Redmond’s recently developed Homestead Canal Trail.
“This connects up to the medical district,” said Mike Caccavano, BPAC member. “It was interesting as I come to check on things to see people that I knew using it at lunch time. For the neighbors and the bike pump track is the other recent addition. Just to see the amount of kids using that, it’s really impressive.”
The Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee says there’s much more that needs to be done to make walking, bicycling, and using transit safe, comfortable, and accessible for everyone.