by Nell Beck and Ben Wilson
for Montclair Local
On Wednesday, June 7, Bradford Elementary School will be hosting its last Walk/Bus/Bike to School Day with a pop-up bicycle lane from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. It will be the second time a pop-up bicycle lane has been used in Montclair, the first of which was made for the 2014 International Walk to School Day for Renaissance Middle School.
Bradford’s pop-up bike lane will begin at Mountainside Pool, continue north on Upper Mountain Ave., turn right on Mt. Hebron Road, then cross Mt. Hebron at the College Avenue crosswalk. It will be separated from street traffic with orange cones, temporary lane markings, and several volunteers wearing reflective vests.
Members of the Montclair Police Department will be there to help distribute safety information and gadgets such as blinking clip-on reflectors. Lt. Stephanie Egnezzo is an instrumental part of the event, as she regularly applies for grants every year to fund events such as these. Bike Walk Montclair also provides plenty of support; their volunteers will help run the bike lane and paint the lane markings.
Larissa Brookes, a Bradford parent who is helping coordinate the bike lane, believes that it will be a fun learning experience for all involved. When asked about her expectations for the event, she said, “I’m hoping to remind Bradford families that biking is another way to get to school, reduce your carbon impact, and stay healthy.
“I hope this event will encourage students to bike, walk, or take the school bus to school rather than travel by car,” Brookes continued. “I’m also hoping to educate cyclists, pedestrians, and especially drivers on road safety. We all know how dangerous the roads are. It’s important for drivers to drive responsibly and carefully, even if they’re late, impatient, or exasperated.”
Along with Bradford, a number of other elementary schools within Montclair, including Edgemont Elementary School and the Charles H. Bullock School, participate in similar events that aim to promote alternative, healthier methods of getting to school. Both Edgemont and the Bullock School will be hosting their last Walk/Bus/Bike to School Days, on June 6 and June 16 respectively.
Nell Beck and Ben Wilson are Montclair High School students interning with Montclair Local.