safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       December 2016
 

In This Issue
Daily Bike to School
Finding Balance
Tool Box - Bike Box installed in Tiburon
New Safety Assembly
New Walking School Bus Guide
Seattle's Traffic Garden
Free Bike Racks     
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Help us to develop healthy habits for our children so that they can have a healthy environment now and in the future.

Daily Pedal to School - 
A Body And Mind Boost (December Blog)
Chris Brignetti and Sarah Winarske live in San Rafael with their two daughters and have made biking to school every day a family habit. Ginger is in Kindergarten and Lucia in fourth grade at Vallecito Elementary in Terra Linda. 

Every day Ginger and Lucia commute to school by biking a half mile with their parents. "Riding is better than sitting in the back seat of a car," said Ginger. "I see wet grass and people's faces when I am riding my bike. It feels open and free."  Read More


Finding Balance When Biking

It is never too late to learn how to ride a bike. While the pedal-less "balance bikes" are popular for pre-K, balance bikes are now available in larger sizes for late bloomers. Safe Routes is excited to offer new balance bikes donated from Strider Bikes for 6- to 8-year old students.

Use of these bikes makes it much easier to practice balancing, which is the hardest skill used in biking. Safe Routes now makes these bikes available to students during our Bike Rodeos and may offer additional balance bike classes to students in the near future. 
Safe Routes would like to thank Strider Bikes for the beautiful new rides and thank our community for the ongoing donations of 20"-26" wheeled youth bikes.

Tool Box - New "Bike Boxes" Installed on Busy School and Commuter Routes!
The Town of Tiburon, in partnership with Marin County and Caltrans, recently installed "bike boxes" at the Blackfield Drive and Greenwood Cove Drive approaches to Tiburon Boulevard (State Route 131). The aim of these new measures is to provide safer cycling and traffic conditions.

The bike box is an intersection safety design to prevent bicycle & car collisions. It is a painted green space on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. It includes a short green bicycle lane approaching the box. The box creates space between motor vehicles and the crosswalk that allows bicyclists to position themselves ahead of motor vehicle traffic at an intersection.

The bike boxes are funded through TAM's Safe Pathways to School Program to improve childrens' cycling safety on the way to and from school. The main goal of the project is to improve safety by:
  • Increasing awareness and visibility of cyclists, especially school age children
  • Helping cyclists make safer intersection crossings
  • Encouraging cyclists to make more predictable approaches to and through an intersection
  • Providing space at the front of an intersection to help cyclists avoid breathing vehicle fumes
Motorists are to stop behind the green bike box and keep it clear for cyclists to use. When the traffic light turns green, motorists and cyclists may move through the intersection as usual, with cyclists going first.

New - Cool With Traffic Assembly
Safe Routes to Schools' new Cool with Traffic assembly was performed at Wade Thomas Elementary School to send the message that walking and biking to school reduces traffic and makes Marin's streets safer.  The show featured 5th grade performers from Wade Thomas as well as a Polar Bear, Big Traffic, and an Enforcement Officer.  "That was one of the best assemblies we ever had," exclaimed Principal, Donna Faulkner.

The 20-minute assembly was playful and fun, yet packed with important environmental and safety lessons geared for all elementary grades.  Students learned that there are vehicles such as UPS trucks that must drive to make deliveries, but the rest of us can help even if we live too far from school by walking from remote drop off location and carpooling with neighbors.  
 
Student performers pretended to be the drivers while the Big Traffic dude "struggled" to cycle using the same laws as drivers.   The Polar Bear showed how to safely cross in a crosswalk by looking left, right and left again, making eye contact with drivers, and waving to the drivers when crossing the street.  Safe Routes' 2nd grade Stop, Look and Listen classes and 4th grade Bike Rodeos provide the "hands on" experience to practice the lessons observed in the assembly.  For more information about scheduling our assembly or classes at your school, please contact Peggy Clark


National Partnership Publishes Walking School Bus Guide
                          
The Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership has just published a comprehensive Walking School Bus guide. This step-by-step guide outlines how to plan and implement a walking school bus for your school, and includes proven tools, tips and resources for a fast and easy start. Whether or not you are familiar with Safe Routes to School and walking school buses, this guide will get you started on the right foot.
 
Seattle's New Traffic Garden Teaches Rules of the Road
The new Bike Playground at Dick Thurnau Park in Seattle is painted like a real street network, but kid-sized. A child riding the course encounters turn lanes, stop signs, and crosswalks just like the ones you would see from the sidewalk, the bus, the back of your parent's bike or from the passenger seat of the family car.

But beyond just being fun, the playground or "traffic garden" can also teach kids how to bike on public streets safely. They can learn what all the lines and signs on the streets mean and get comfortable navigating them all in a car-free space. Schools in the area can also use the park for physical education courses.  Read More