On Friday, May 12th, the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, in partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, held its 21st Annual Walk and Roll Rally at Main Plaza to highlight the importance of active forms of transportation to our community’s health, economy, environment, equity, and quality of life. Roughly 300 people gathered at 8:00 a.m. for this yearly pop-up event to celebrate walking, biking, and transit use. The hour was jam-packed with good music, fun contests, exciting activities, free breakfast tacos, and most importantly, tons of information and resources geared towards active transportation in the Alamo Area.
Host Randy Beamer with News 4 San Antonio and City of San Antonio District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales kicked off the event in front of the historic San Fernando Cathedral with some opening remarks about the importance of active transportation to our community. And they would know – both ride their bikes and take the bus regularly. Ever the champion for active transportation, Councilwoman Gonzales called for quality bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to improve safety and work towards the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating roadway fatalities and serious injuries. That’s certainly a goal worth rallying around.
Guests were invited to visit the variety of informational booths to learn more about active transportation projects, initiatives, and resources in our community. For instance, the San Antonio River Authority was there to talk about the Westside Creeks and San Pedro Creek restoration projects, which include significant hike and bike components. VIA Metropolitan Transit gave information on transit routes and programs. SA Bikes handed out free bike maps to help people find a comfortable route to their destination. San Antonio Walks promoted the City’s many walking trails and events in the area. The list goes on. If anyone wanted information on anything related to walking, biking, or transit in the region, the Walk & Roll Rally was the place to be.
The rally included plenty of other neat things to grab folks’ attention. Ian Cruz got everyone’s blood flowing with a stellar Zumba demonstration. Even VIA’s mascot, Buster, joined in to show us his moves! Randy Beamer pulled some people up on stage to participate in a multimodal trivia contest for the chance to win prizes (do you know how many VIA bus stops there are? Hint: it’s a lot!). Councilwoman Gonzales led a group of hopefuls in a hula hoop contest (hello, nostalgia!). Over a hundred people ventured to guess how many socks were stuffed in a giant container (it’s harder than you think!), and one lucky winner received a $100 Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card to put towards some bike gear or a new pair of shoes. Several people also walked away with some truly fantastic door prizes, including a new bike helmet, a bike lock, and gift cards to local restaurants and entertainment.
Lastly, friends, family, and colleagues enjoyed striking a pose for the event’s photo booth. No selfie stick needed! Guests donned crowns, leis, and sunglasses, and showed us which active modes of transportation they use to get around. As an added bonus, they took home commemorative photos emblazoned with the reminder to stay safe by being visible, alert, predictable, and prepared.
If you missed the Walk & Roll Rally this year, don’t fret! There’s always next year, where we look forward to being Certified Awesome and an official San Antonio Tricentennial event. In the meantime, check out the other events going on this month here. You can also reach out to me to find out how to stay involved.