Celebrating Bike to Work Day on May 19

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May 19 is Bike to Work Day in Prince William County and the metro area. Recently, several students at the Independence Nontraditional School received awards for posters they created for National Bike to Work Day.

JJ Caton’s poster for the Bike to Work Day contest depicted a bicycle in front of flowers and took first place in the contest sponsored by the Prince William County Department of Transportation.

“I’ve always done art, ever since I was a little kid, so it’s good to get recognized for something, especially for a program that’s actually trying to help do something good for our planet,” Caton, 11th grade, said.

Levi Chaconas, fifth grade, took second place with his poster showing bicycles in front of a sunrise over cityscape with birds flying in a blue sky. Alexandra Unangst-Hernandez, 10th grade, created a poster of  a bicycle with sunflowers for wheels and a handlebar basket full of tulips that took third place, which she shared with 10th-grader Noah Torres, whose poster showed the year 2023 with the year’s zero depicting the earth. Bicycles and buildings rested on the planet’s circumference.

Prince William Department of Transportation Director Rick Canizales said it is important to get community participation around Bike to Work Day.

What better way than getting them aware at a young age and getting students involved in community programs and engagement. The entries were great and the participation by both students and staff was amazing,” Canizales said.

Residents are encouraged to participate in Bike to Work Day, which is a national initiative aimed at encouraging people to consider using bicycles instead of cars when they can.

“The idea behind it is to reduce congestion on the roads and also reduce emissions and pollutants in the air; and it’s good for your health. It’s good exercise,” said George Phillips, a transportation planner with the county's Department of Transportation.

Bike to Work Day, organized by Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, features nine pit stops in Prince William County where people can stop to pick up bicycle-related accessories such as T-shirts, water bottles, keychains and such. The pit stops can also serve as a place to take a break and rest up on the longer journeys

This year’s pit stops are at the Manassas Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Station, Manassas Park VRE Station, Dumfries at Simpson Community Center, the Kelly Leadership Center, George Mason University in Manassas, Rippon Landing VRE Station, Chinn Center, Tackett’s Mill, and Woodbridge VRE Station.

For more information, visit pwcva.gov/events/2023-bike-work-day or biketoworkmetrodc.org.

bike to work

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair At-Large Ann Wheeler, left, stands with George Phillips, Prince William County Department of Transportation, Independence Nontraditional School Principal Jodi Pankowski, Bryce Barrett, Prince William County Department of Transportation and Haley ‘JJ” Caton, holding her contest-winning Bike to Work Day poster, along with Art Teacher Kelly Wasson, Gretchen Johnson, Prince William County Department of Transportation and JJ’s aunt during a proclamation recognizing May 19 as Bike to Work Day.

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