PORTLAND, Ore. – October 5 was International Walk and Bike to School Day. The day is all about encouraging a healthy lifestyle, while at the same time, promoting pedestrian and driver safety.

The city of Portland also used the day to tell parents about present and future improvements, and Gilbert Park Elementary students walked on new sidewalks along Southeast Ramona Street.

“Nationally, only 11 percent of kids walk and bike to school. In Portland it’s 40 percent,” said Commissioner Steve Novick.

In Tigard, hundreds of kids also walked to school. Many would normally take the bus. On every other day, the city says, about 10 percent of families have their kids walk or bike to school. They hope more will do so in the future.

“What we are trying to do is to work with schools to ensure that we can make a safer plan, the systems better, make the drop off safer, and that's where we can partner with parents and school to make those best choices possible,” said Rudy Owners, Tigard city spokesperson. “We know that when kids walk and are healthy, they are better performers. They are more engaged.”