Walk It, Bike It!
Bike and Pedestrian Education News 2017
Your Safe Routes team works hard year round to help your kids have safe options to get to schools, parks, and visit friends. Community events during summer months keep us sharp and educate families prior to the coming school year. We want to be sure the education is available to help everyone travel safely through our communities. During spring and summer months you will see more people out walking and riding. Events such as Meridian Dairy Days, Library bike rodeos, and others are opportunities to learn "rules of the road" for safe walking and biking. The Safe Routes to School team is an email or phone call away to help your organization get the tools for a great event. Let us know how we can help your summer be safe...and FUN!
Here is a list of commonly asked questions when a school or group would like to book one of our programs or set up an event. This can help you decide what you would like for your organization or school.
- What is the cost? Free! Our program is free and we can work with most schedules.
- How much time is needed for a Safe Routes lesson? The more time we have, the better. The minimum time needed is between 25 and 30 minutes for youth presentations or walkabouts. 45-60 minutes will allow time for an in-depth presentation or on-bike rodeo.
- What topics do we cover? Visibility and predictability are important topics which are hard for students (and adults) to put into perspective. These topics lead directly into rules of the road for bike riders and pedestrians. We talk about wrong way riding, light laws, driveway dangers, and having fun while safely traveling to school, parks, and other places. Students get a clear understanding for following rules of the road, and how being visible and predictable keeps you safe. When given the full 60 minutes we also cover bike maintenance, locking and theft prevention. After a group has an educational presentation we encourage you to schedule a bike rodeo or a guided community ride. These are practical benefits of Safe Routes to School programs. Rodeos develop bike handling and skills. Guided rides give a controlled opportunity to practice and demonstrate safe practices. These are fun events and rides specific to your community and surroundings.
- What are walking school bus and bike trains? A walking school bus is a group of students that walk from neighborhoods together with an adult or older student. Along the way, students get exercise and learn crosswalk behavior and see common driver behavior. If you do it enough, it becomes natural to walk to school. The same is true with bike trains. Proper bike etiquette is modeled by an adult or older student on bikes in a group to school. Police are often happy to lead this train.
- Is it really safe for students to walk or bike to school? With some encouragement and proper engineering of roads, sidewalks and bike lanes, it is usually very safe to walk or ride to school. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing road rules and proper safety techniques. We're not just talking about helmets here, but road positions, visibility and rules of the road. When we know what we are supposed to be doing, communicating with drivers and other road users, we can stay safe. We say "heads up for safety" and that means to look around and be aware of potential dangers. When we don't look straight ahead, we run into mail boxes or other people!
- How do I schedule my school or group for your program? Just send an email or give us a call and we'll set it up. Get in touch with us today, we're trained professionals ready to help! (and if you have a flat on YOUR bike, we can help with that too!)
-Lisa Brady, Treasure Valley Safe Routes to School Director