Safe Routes to School
Not long ago, half of all children got to school by biking or walking. Today, just 15 percent of school children bike or walk to school. An international movement in over 40 countries and in all 50 states has been underway to reverse this recent trend by aiming to promote more biking and walking through increased safety, awareness, and education.
Our programs use the following components to promote more walking and bicycling:
The Five E’s:
- Education – Classroom and outdoor instruction that teach students safe walking and biking skills to use on their way to and from school.
- Encouragement – Keep participants engaged through events, contests and initiatives that encourage students and parents to walk and bike to school more often.
- Engineering – Help identify barriers and solve problems in the built environment to make biking and walking easier.
- Enforcement – Work with law enforcement to improve traffic safety around schools.
- Evaluation – Measure and monitor progress and success of programs and activities.
In partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education, SVBC has been involved in promoting and delivering Safe Routes to School programming at over half a dozen cities in San Mateo County. Our efforts at these schools are not only meant to promote more walking and bicycling, but to also generate awareness in the community about the need to be more conscious about child safety. In addition to providing student walk and bike education and encouragement, multiple workshops and events are organized to engage parents and the entire community. To learn more about the San Mateo County Safe Routes to School program, visit Safe Routes to School San Mateo County.
SVBC has worked with the City of Santa Clara and Alta Planning + Design to implement a two-year Safe Routes to School program at six elementary schools and one middle school in the Santa Clara Unified School District: Montague, Bowers, Briarwood, Haman, Sutter, Scott Lane, and Cabrillo. The program included bike and walk to school education and encouragement through classroom instruction, bike rodeos, walking school buses, and other fun events and activities that promote more walking and bicycling. The program is expected to continue during the 2015-2016 school year, with an addition of more schools. More details will be announced soon. To learn more about this program, visit Santa Clara Safe Routes to School.
SVBC also reaches out to provide support and expertise to other schools and agencies that want to implement Safe Routes to School programs in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. In Santa Clara County, we are a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Work Group for the Traffic Safe Communities Network of Santa Clara County Public Health.
We would like to thank Specialized Bicycles for supporting our youth education and Safe Routes to School programs.
Wheel Kids is looking for paid, part-time, summer assistant instructors to team-teach Palo Alto’s Middle School Bike Skills (MSBS) classes for several Saturdays and one Sunday between June and August 2017.
SVBC’s youth education team has secured funding to bring Eco2School, a program developed by the Center for Climate Protection, to two high schools. We’re excited to announce that Broadway High School and Downtown College Prep, both of San Jose, have joined the...
Before landing my dream job running SVBC, I worked for 14 years as an advocate for affordable housing. In that role, I collaborated with affordable housing developers, an interesting and somewhat masochistic group of people. When I moved over to SVBC, many of these do-gooder developers followed me. At the same time, a new grant program came down from the State called the Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant program. This program was one more way of implementing the State’s landmark greenhouse gas reductions legislation, Assembly Bill 32, and its companion land use legislation, Senate Bill 375, by linking dollars for affordable housing with sustainability. What better way to create greener housing than to put the infrastructure and programs in place to encourage bicycling over driving?