Safe routes to School

Our going word says; Promote bicycle safety for children of elementary and middle school age, who are involved in nearly 14 percent of all bicycle crashes in non-school hours. We can encourage Cycling to School and make it work. ANCHORAGE, ALASKA AND PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIAUSA.

Anchorage, because of its location, experiences their peculiar bike and walk to school challenges. Report shows that, it is very dark for much of the school year. Sometimes the sun is up for less than six hours. The Safe Routes to School program has helped Anchorage community distribute reflective tape to more than 10,000 students (at no cost to the students) and more than 75,000 bicycle helmets have been given away gift items to students, to create large (and visible) designs in the city to strengthen cycling to school. The school nurses properly teaches Anchorage school students in a kit-fit, safe routes to school program reflective (jackets, coats, and the helmets) gears. Between the first and second years of the reflective gear program, participation went up from 30 percent to 70 percent. Report reveals that the Safe Routes to Schools funded a program a few years ago, which the municipality and the school district applied for, received and was used to set up a GPS mapping system to evaluate all the walking routes that students take to school to know which needs improvement. The program enabled Anchorage to implement a school crossing guard reflector and safety training program. Today they are working on an $80,000 planning grant to do 10 site-specific planning activities for Safe Routes to Schools.

In addition, Anchorage has recently approved a new bike plan. They are working to make sure that more people realize that there are bicyclists with recognition and acknowledgment. Their Bicycle Commuters team of Anchorage are also working on trainings for children and adults.

Palo Alto, Caledonia has been working to make it easier for kids to bike and
walk to school since 1994. The team in Palo Alto have crossed many traditional lines, ensuring greater success. The school district, police department, city staff and PTA constitute the Safe Routes Task Force team. They have gone further to create a site, which offers everything in place to report problems concerning the student’s route to school, help teachers educate students on how to walk and bike to school safely. Their community’s cohesion is a good model to transform school commutes for the Anchorage community children.