In some school districts in the country, students are forbidden from riding their bikes to school. School administrators cite concerns over liability to justify the bans. That's not the case in San Francisco and certainly not in Portland. Both cities have undertaken campaigns to encourage more physical activity by youth, including walking and biking to school. Last May 28 more than 20 San Francisco schools participated in the Bike To School Day, and federal funds will help boost that number through further promotion during the upcoming school year. Momentum, The magazine for self-propelled people, previewed San Francisco's First Bike to School Day.
Portland isn't a top-tier, platinum level, bike-friendly city for nothing. At one southeast Portland elementary school, nearly 40 percent of students walk or bike to school. Those kinds of stats made the city a natural for hosting the recent Safe Routes to School National Conference. For an account of the conference, see this Oregonian article. For a comprehensive report on Oregon's plan for Safe Routes to School (SR2S), check the state's "How to Guide for Oregon Schools and Communities on Enabling and Encouraging Kids to Walk and Bike sto School," including a Safe Routes tool-kit. Even more information available from the national SR2S center.