February 2021 • View as Webpage
A Message from the Director
Welcome to our new Safe Routes to School newsletter. Despite school buildings being closed, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has been busy improving walkability around schools and continuing our student engagement efforts.

In 2020, our SRTS program completed safety upgrades around nine schools and found new creative ways to stay engaged with students and parents. As schools begin to reopen, I hope you consider the many resources and information available from our Safe Routes to School team to promote safe and active walking and biking to and from school.

- Christopher Conklin
MCDOT Director
Announcing: A New Look for SRTS!
We are excited to share our new program logo with you!

MCDOT aims to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike safely. Despite the closure of school buildings, the County's Safe Routes to School team (SRTS) continues to hold virtual and socially distant in-person events to teach students how to navigate their neighborhoods safely.

Our simple purpose is to get more children to walk and bike, while saving lives and preventing injuries in Montgomery County. Read below to see what we've been up to!

2020 Event Recap
(Virtual) Safety Week 2020

#MoCoSafetyWeek was held May 4-8, 2020, and was jointly hosted by the SRTS program and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for elementary and middle school students and their families. Safety Week emphasized the need to be safe while traveling, whether by walking, biking, via bus or other vehicle. Students participated in creative, interactive activities at home and watched special video demonstrations.

Back to School Bike Safety Tour

In September and October, the SRTS team partnered with Montgomery County Recreation to hold our First Annual Bike Safety Tour at sites throughout the County. We conducted on-bike education where riders learned the bicycle ABC's, Rules of the Road, Proper Helmet Fitting, and Communicating with Hand Signals. All participants received a free helmet and other safety prizes!
Walking Wednesdays

MCDOT celebrated “Walktober,” a month-long series of activities and virtual webinars promoting the State’s official exercise: walking. As part of the program, the SRTS team partnered with MCPS to host a series of “Walking Wednesdays'' each week of October at several meal site locations throughout the county. Each Wednesday, SRTS’s Zeal Safety Zebra greeted students and distributed safety bags filled with giveaways and pedestrian safety education materials.
Zeal Goes to the Movies

Zeal the Safety Zebra surprised attendees of the Pike District’s Carpool Cinema drive-in movies to talk safety before the featured films began!
Boo! A Halloween Bike Rodeo

MCDOT partnered with a Gaithersburg Cub Scout Pack to host a Halloween Bike Rodeo. The children learned various aspects of bike education, including the rules of the road, how to properly fit a helmet, and the signs and signals needed to communicate with others on the road. All participants received safety education bags and helmets.
Outreach with Manna Food Center

The week before Thanksgiving, the Pedestrian Safety team stopped by two Manna Food Center distribution sites to provide giveaways and information about walking and biking safely as we enter the winter months.
High School Youth Ambassador Program
Do you know students who may be interested in getting involved?

MCDOT, in partnership with the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), is seeking students in County public or private schools to serve as “Vision Zero Youth Ambassadors.” The program is aiming to encourage youth to have an active role in road safety efforts and improvements.

Interested students can learn about the program here, and must complete this application before Friday, Feb. 5.
Engineering Update
MCDOT is dedicated to pedestrian safety. Our traffic safety program combines engineering and education throughout the community.

The engineering team conducts Walkability Studies at schools throughout the county in order to ensure students can reach them safely. To date, we have completed walkability studies at 33 of 153 schools, and are continuing to work to reach our goal.
Get Involved with SRTS
We are here for you!

SRTS is a FREE program that provides pedestrian and bicycle safety education and outreach to residents of Montgomery County. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are interested in implementing a program in your area!

“Bike safety, support at the Open House and other evening events with our community were so beneficial to connect our work between home and the broader community. We are so thankful for your education of our students in the safety of riding bikes as they have likely been doing a lot of bike riding during the COVID-19.”

-Elise M. Burgess
Principal, Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary
Safety is in our DNA.
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For more information, contact Duwan Morris, SRTS Program Manager, at srts@montgomerycountymd.gov