Beat the Street: DOT and DOE Launch International Walk to School Contest

Janette Sadik-Khan and Dennis Walcott in Astoria. Photo: ##

DOT and the Department of Education today announced the “Beat the Street” contest, where NYC kids compete with their counterparts around the world to see who can rack up the most walking trips to and from school. From a DOT press release:

Since the competition started here on October 15th, more than 1,000 students from two Queens schools, IS 141-The Steinway School in Astoria and JHS 210-The Elizabeth Blackwell School in Ozone Park, have competed against students in Liverpool, England, with hundreds more in London, England and Shanghai, China joining the three-week long competition in November. Each participating New York City student can simply swipe a keycard at any “Beat Box” location installed by DOT at key points along major pedestrian routes to each of the two Queens schools.

Points are accumulated based on the number of swipes, and are tracked in real time on the competition web site. (I.S. 241 is crushing it at this writing.) Prizes will be awarded to each school and also to individual students. The winning school gets a thousand bucks from London-based Intelligent Health, and a matching contribution will go to UNICEF.

“Good habits can last a lifetime, and we’re teaching kids to put their best foot forward early by learning the importance that walking plays in a healthy lifestyle,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who appeared at the Astoria event with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “New York City is one of the world’s most walkable cities, so our students have a head start when it comes to learning healthy routines for life.”