Ashlawn Elementary School is one of the first two elementary schools nationwide to receive Bicycle Friendly Business designation, at the Silver Level, from the League of American Bicyclists. Ashlawn is also the first school in Arlington County to receive this designation.
The League of American Bicyclists looks at what it calls The Four E’s to determine bicycle friendliness – Encouragement, Education, Engineering and Evaluation. Each applicant has to answer a series of questions in each category to reflect what the business does to encourage, educate, engineer and evaluate.
Ashlawn Elementary School did not set out to become a Bicycle Friendly Business, but rather, implemented and supported a number of activities that built up to its new Silver Level designation. As a Silver Level Champion and with the assistance of Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), Ashlawn was able to identify all these different factors to embrace bicycle friendliness. Being a Bicycle Friendly Business is becoming increasingly popular around the country as it gives companies a competitive advantage and shows their commitment to healthy, active employees.
Ashlawn was identified early in the 2016-2017 school year as a good candidate for Bicycle Friendly Business because of its existing bicycle network. Thanks to renovations and the addition to Ashlawn Elementary School in 2014, the school now boasts not only dozens of new bike racks, but also a secured, indoor bike storage room for staff bicycles. A new staircase at the back of the school was designed as a bicycle stairwell, to enable a person to set the bike in the channel and push it up or down the stairs as they walk next to it.
Students and staff are encouraged to ride their bikes to school as often as possible, with large turnouts on the Bike to School Days in May, as well as the Walk and Bike to School Days in October. Assistant Librarian Daniel Redmond has offered his bike mechanic skills to his colleagues and hosted staff bike tune-up days, and has a bicycle repair kit available for anyone to use. The APS Go! surveys allow Ashlawn to track student and staff bicycle ridership over time, which helps evaluate the school’s efforts.
Join us in congratulating Ashlawn Elementary School for their Bicycle Friendly Business award! To find out if you have what it takes to become a Bicycle Friendly Business, contact us now.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners