Carper and Bhatt help celebrate National Bicycle to School Day
Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt, along with Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Kevin Carson, visited Cape Henlopen High School to encourage students to be more active in their daily lives, by considering biking to school.
“Our purpose this afternoon is to talk about exercise. It’s to talk about fitness, healthy eating and just the whole concept of taking care of ourselves,” said Carson.
John Ray from the Delaware Department of Education noted that more than 40 percent of students in Delaware are either overweight or obese.
“That’s way too high. It’s something that you could do something about,” said Ray. “It doesn’t make any difference what your friends do, you have to take the challenge — each and every one of you. We are promoting your lifetime wellness, so that you will take the opportunity to become more fit.”
Carper added that personal fitness is something one must spend a lifetime working on.
“We, as a nation, are on our way to becoming obese. We are obese. One out of three people are obese. It’s killing us, literally. It’s killing us, figuratively, because we can’t afford it,” he said. “I urge you to find a way to stay in shape and find a way to stay in shape as long as you can. You will be glad you did.”
In connection with National Bicycle to School Day on May 9, Bhatt announced that DelDOT will be working to provide more students with the opportunity to safely bike to school and pursue continued physical fitness, as DelDOT has reached an agreement with the Townsend and Lingo families to gain an easement that will allow the agency to extend the Junction and Breakwater Trail.
Currently, the trail connects Lewes to Rehoboth Beach and travels along Gull’s Neck Road, but it ends about .75 miles from the high school.
“Livability means that you live in a society where you don’t necessarily have to get in a car and drive everywhere. We want to provide livable communities where people can walk and bike,” said Bhatt.
“I know a lot of students don’t bike to school here, and part of that is our fault,” he acknowledged. “We have not provided infrastructure that is entirely suitable for you to get out there. We hope to provide a safe way for you all to do that.”