Wilmore Elementary participates in Bike to School Day

Published 1:35 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022

By Gillian Stawiszynski

Contributing Writer

Students walked, biked, scooted, and skated to school for Wilmore’s second-ever Bike to School Day.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 26, around 75 Wilmore Elementary students met at the United Methodist Church to travel to Wilmore Elementary School with police department escorts.

Some students didn’t live in Wilmore and would-be car riders even with available bike paths, but they still chose to be part of the event.

Bradley Cochran and Wilmore’s Trail Advisory Group started this event last year to advocate for better infrastructure through an event for local kids.

Growing up, Cochran said biking to school was a regular activity for many students. However, he said that is difficult given Wilmore’s current infrastructure and setup.

“[Students] don’t have access for locking bikes up or even sidewalk access getting into the school,” Cochran said.

An event poster instructed participating students to put their bikes and other modes of transportation in the grass to the right of the school’s main entrance.

“We’re trying to highlight the fact that if given the opportunity and the right conditions, kids and adults, they want to be active and have the ability to safely move around town and go to school and go to a business and whether that’s biking or walking or rollerblading or whatever, ideally that would be without police escorts,” Cochran said.

According to Cochran, Wilmore needs to have the right conditions. “

A lot of it is poor planning” and “poor design,” he explained.

Policies that can change these conditions include bike lanes, sidewalks, and shared-use paths for walking and biking.

“It’s just proven over and over that it not only strengthens communities, it really helps attract businesses. People are attracted to that kind of quality of life standards. It’s public health, and it’s public safety,” Cochran said. “I feel like personally that it should be prioritized right up there with fire and police services. It should be a huge priority, but it’s often overlooked as not that important. I think it’s pretty darn important.”

Wilmore Elementary parents came to pick up their students at the United Methodist Church at the end of the day after their students had once again been escorted by police vehicles.

Cochran said the Wilmore Trail Advocacy group would like to hold this event two or three times a year, barring the winter months.

“I’m so thankful that everyone had faith in us and the Wilmore Police Department to guide us safely,” Cochran said.