Throwback: Safe Routes to School 2011

This video was created in 2011 by the great parents at Clairemont Elementary to celebrate their six years of Safe Routes to School. In 2011 the school was recognized by the GA Safe Routes Resource Center. It still gives me the chills every time I watch it.

Enjoy seeing children and adults celebrating walking to school!

Update: Crosswalk at S. Candler and E. Davis

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The crosswalk at South Candler St and East Davis St is an active construction zone until installation of the HAWK signal is complete. Beginning Thursday, August 3rd, the crosswalk will be staffed with a crossing guard during the morning and afternoon school zone hours. Please proceed with caution when crossing at this location.

From time to time during construction of the HAWK, the crosswalk may be closed without notice. Please make sure you have an alternate route. The City is striving to make your travel to school safe and pleasant. Please bear with us.

Please Avoid Crossing at E. Davis – Construction is Underway for HAWK Signal

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Construction on a new HAWK signal at the East Davis and South Candler crosswalk is currently underway. Until the project is completed this fall, pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to avoid the active construction zone and either cross South Candler at Kirk Road or Dougherty Street. Once completed, the crosswalk will be staffed with a crossing guard during regular school zone hours.

Back to School Safety Tips

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The first day of school is fast approaching so it is a good time to review safety rules with your family. The City of Decatur encourages children to walk and bike to school through the Safe Routes to School Program, and we want them to arrive at school safely.

Walk Safely!

  • Children should always walk on the sidewalk or path and cross only at crosswalks or at traffic signals. Obey the crossing guards!
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
  • It’s a good idea to make eye contact with the driver of a vehicle before crossing.
  • Be careful at driveways where cars may back out and not expect a pedestrian.
  • Put down the cell phone and electronic devices and pay attention!

Bike Safely!

  • Before your child rides his/her bike, be sure to give it a safety check. Is there enough air in the tires? Do both brakes work? Check the saddle, handlebars, pedals, and chain. If you need some repairs and are not able to do them yourself, bring the bike to a bike shop. It is worth the money to keep your children safe.
  • WEAR A HELMET! Head injury is the leading cause of death in cycling accidents. Helmets should fit snuggly and cover the forehead – not more than two fingers width above the eyebrows. Parents – be a good role model and wear your helmet as well.
  • Learn hand signals. Cars cannot guess when a cyclist will be turning or stopping. Review hand signals with your child and teach them what road signs mean
  • Teach your child about road safety when riding a bike. Cyclists should ride with the flow of traffic and not against it. Ride with someone else if possible, and always ride single file. . Bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey the same rules of the road as cars.
  • Light up! All cyclists should have bike lights – a white one of the front and red on the back. Put the back light on flash when riding at any time of day. This will make riders more visible to cars.
  • If riding the sidewalk, make sure your child always yields to pedestrians. Children should be aware that sidewalk riding is actually more dangerous in many situations. Cars are not expecting a bike and riders should be especially cautious when approaching driveways and crosswalks. Bikes should be walked across, not ridden, in crosswalks.

School Bus Safety!

  • Children should stand at least three giant steps back from the bus stop while waiting on the bus.
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before getting off and never walk behind the bus.
  • If the child needs to cross in front of the bus when exiting, remind them to take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver, and cross when the driver indicates it is safe. Children should look left, right and left again before crossing.
  • For a list of the City Schools of Decatur school bus safety rules, visit http://www.csdecatur.net/departments/transportation/

Drive Safely!

  • Drivers should be on high alert in residential areas and school zones and watch for children on both the road and sidewalk.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways before turning.
  • Put down your cell phone! It is illegal to text when driving.
  • Follow the speed limit and slow down in a school zone.
  • Stop for school buses with flashing lights! Flashing yellow or red lights indicates the bus is about to stop (yellow), has already stopped (red), or children are getting on or off.

For more information on the Safe Routes to School Program visit www.decaturga.com/srts. Contact Cheryl.Burnette@decaturga.com for more information on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

 

 

 

Trail Etiquette: Share the Trail

With more  people using the PATH it is a good time to review trail etiquette.Let’s make sure everyone has a good ride or walk. These tips are from the League of American Bicyclists……

Courtesy

  • Respect all trail users
  • Yield to slower users
  • Obey the rules of the trail

Announce when passing

  • Use a bell, horn or voice to indicate your intention to pass
  • Warn other well in advance so you do not startle them

Yield when entering and crossing

  • Yield to traffic at places where the trail crosses the road
  • Yield to other users at trail intersections

Keep Right

  • Stay as close to the right as possible, except when passing

Pass on Left

  • Pull out only when you are sure the lane is clear
  • Allow plenty of room, about two bike lengths, before moving back to the right

Be Predictable

  • Travel in a straight line unless you are avoiding hazards or passing
  • Indicate your intention to turn or pass

Use Lights at Night

  • Most trial users will not have lights at night; use a white front and red rear light.

Do not block the trail

  • For group rides, use no more than half the trail
  • Stop and regroup completely off the trail

Bike Safety Poster Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the Bike Safety Poster Contest sponsored by Decatur Active Living and Bicycle South. Winners’ posters will be displayed around town during May, which is National Bike Month. Be on the lookout and  follow the safety tips!

For more information on Bike Month and biking in Decatur visit http://www.decaturga.com/biking.

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Mara Jones Receives Biking Award from GA SRTS Resource Center

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Pictured above are GA SRTS’s Nichole Hollis and Renfroe student Mara Jones.

GA Safe Routes to School Resource Center recently presented the “Bike the Extra Mile Award” to Renfroe student Mara Jones at the recent SRTS Palooza held at Morehouse College.

Mara is 12 years old and in 7th grade at Renfroe.  She has been riding her bike to school since she was in kindergarten.  Her ride in k-3 was 1.5 miles, 4-5 2.5 miles and Renfroe 2.3 miles.  She is not stopped by rain or cold or hot weather.  Over the years she has encouraged other people to ride their bikes.  You may see her bike to school group biking down Sycamore in the mornings. Mara not only bikes to school but she also bikes to other activities.

Congratulations to Mara! We are so proud of her.

Crossing Guard Appreciation Week

The City of Decatur Active Living and Police Divisions honored our wonderful crossing guards this week with a  breakfast to show appreciation for keeping our children safe as they make their way to and from school. The guards also received a special Safe Routes to School water bottle and a certificate of appreciation.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Lindley who is retiring at the end of 2016 after 33 years at Oakhurst!

Be sure to thank your crossing guards!

For more information on Decatur’s Safe Routes to School program, visit decaturga.com/srts.

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It’s Crossing Guard Appreciation Week!

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Be sure to say “Thank You” to our wonderful City of Decatur Crossing Guards this week. Consider having your child made them a card, bring a flower, or simply say Thank You! as they cross the street.

Our Crossing Guards brave all types of weather to keep our children safe as they walk and bike to school. Let’s show them how much they are appreciated!

Click here for a thank you note template and other ideas.

City of Decatur Finalist in Kaboom! Play Everywhere Challenge

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Wouldn’t it be great to have one of these in Decatur?

The City of Decatur was selected as a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that will award outside-the-box ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the U.S. The Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.  

The City of Decatur created an innovative plan for a Pedal to School Bike Bus and a renewal of the bus stop on Trinity Place into a play space. The project was selected as a finalist out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide. Winners will be announced in early fall, 2016. 

The Challenge, developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, attracted an outpouring of creative ideas to spark kids’ imaginations and get their bodies moving. Decaturs idea came from a passion for getting kids more involved in Safe Routes to School.

 

The Pedal to School Bike Bus is currently being used in Holland and is a great way for children to travel to school while getting exercise along the way. Riding a bike brings joy and good health, and the bike bus is particularly whimsical, said Danielle Suchdev, member of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  The bus will enable 11 children to bike themselves to school, departing from the Decatur Housing Authority.

“We were astonished at the number and quality of the applications we received,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “To us, it shows a huge, untapped potential to reimagine cities with kids in mind, and boost their opportunity to get the play they need to thrive. And when kids thrive, cities thrive.”

Kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. Research shows play is vital to healthy brain development and is pivotal to how kids learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity–in other words, the skills they need to succeed as adults. Yet today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. Meanwhile, evidence shows missing out on the chance to play puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school.

“Were thrilled at the possibility that Decaturs kids could win this fantastic new opportunity to learn and develop from play, said Cheryl Burnette of Decatur Active Living. “If we’re selected as a winner, we hope it will be just the beginning of a larger effort to make play a way of life for kids and families in our community and to have a way for more children to experience biking to school.”

Winners for the competition will be selected in fall 2016. To learn more about Decaturs ideas for making play happen everywhere in the city,  contact Cheryl Burnette. To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, including a gallery of ideas for what Play Everywhere could look like across the U.S. please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere