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!

How to Lock Your Bike

The following information is from Momentum Magazine. Read the entire article here.

bike locked

Illustrator: Thomas James

A man sauntered into our neighborhood bike shop and examined the display of locks. He hefted the most impressive one, a massive, heavy chain, looked at the price tag and frowned. “I don’t know if I can afford it,” he said to the shop owner.

“Can you afford to have your bike stolen?” the owner replied.

This is, in a nutshell, the basic logic of bike security. Bikes are light and easily transported, convenient qualities not only for bike owners, but also for bike thieves. They’re also easily resold, infrequently tracked down by law enforcement, and too often perceived as an “assumed loss,” – many people simply expect to have their bicycle stolen at some point. As a result, bike theft is an absolutely massive – and growing – problem in many cities worldwide.

As the number of bicycles on our streets increase, so too do the number of people trying to make a quick buck off of their vulnerability. But your bicycle doesn’t have to be an assumed loss. By taking a few simple precautions and investing in a decent lock or two, you can basically ensure your precious ride will always be exactly where you left it.

Continue reading the article here.

And here is a good video for the school children on how to lock their bike at school.

Bicycle Safety Tips

bicyclistsafechoices

Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers

walkers.cathy..o.davis
Photo credit: Cathy Lo Davis

Driving Safety Tips from the National Safety Council:

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children

If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus

Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist

When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass

If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals

Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this

Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods

Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars

Check side mirrors before opening your door
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

 

Biking to School: Let’s Ride Safely

Take a test ride to school this week to figure out the best route and remember to have fun while riding safely.

The video below is a great reminder of bike safety for adults as well as children.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bike Safety Poster Contest Returns

May is National Bike Month and Decatur Safe Routes to School invites children in participating schools to enter Decatur’s second annual Bike to School Month poster contest.

We invite children in grades k – 8 to design a poster illustrating bike safety. For example, the poster could show a child using hand signals, or it could stress the importance of wearing a helmet. Creativity is encouraged!

A panel of judges will select four winners who will receive a gift certificate from Bicycle South, the contest sponsor. Judging will be based on creativity, inclusion of bike safety theme, and originality. Age and grade will play a factor in the judging. The winning posters will be made into posters to be displayed throughout the City during May. Winners will also be recognized at the City Commission meeting in May and poster art will be featured in the May Decatur FOCUS magazine.

Deadline is March 10. Entries are to be turned in at the student’s school by 3 pm.

For more information on how to enter and the registration form please visit decaturga.com/srts or contact Cheryl.Burnette@decaturga.com. Entry forms will also be available at each participating school.

Here are last year’s winning posters…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Decatur Has Record Participation for International Walk & Roll to School Day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The City of Decatur Schools take part in International Walk & Roll Day each year and 2016 saw the highest number of students participating since the program began. A total of 2357 children walked or biked to school on Wednesday, October 5. This number is up from the 1893 that participated in 2015. Mayor Patti Garrett also participated and walked a group of children from the Decatur Housing Authority to Glennwood School.

Westchester Elementary had the highest participation with 84% of students walking to school and will receive the City’s “Golden Shoe Award”.  According to school Principal Ms. Lofstrand, “the car pool was reduced to a trickle.”  There was at least one story of a family that had been reluctant to walk before but came out today for the first time, because the children were so enthused.

Decatur has had an active Safe Routes to School Program since 2005. The program has won the Golden Shoe Award from PEDS for Pedestrian Friendly School System and three schools have been named Metro Atlanta Partner of Year by the GA Safe Routes to School Resource Center. Initially the program was coordinated by volunteer parent committees at each school. Beginning with the 2008 -2009 school year, the Decatur Active Living Division took on the management and development of Decatur’s program.

The success of the program still depends on the fabulous parents at each school who volunteer to be School Champions along with their school committees and the Principals at each school who not only support the program but understand the value of children walking and biking to school. The city and parents also work closely with the Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center.

Currently the City’s program includes all 5 elementary schools, Renfroe Middle School, College Heights and Saint Thomas More Catholic School. We are very proud the great work the parents and schools do to promote walking and biking every day.

For more information on Decatur’s Safe Routes to School Program, contact Cheryl.Burnette@decaturga.com or visit www.decaturga.com/srts.

 

Bike to School Day is Wednesday

JPEG - Safe Routes to School Color

From the National Center for Safe Routes to School:

CHAPEL HILL (May 3, 2016) – If you see more young bicyclists on this road this week, it’s for a good reason. This Wednesday communities across the country will kick things into high gear for the fifth annual National Bike to School Day celebration. Students, teachers and families nationwide will bike and walk to school on May 4 to promote safer routes to school, healthier habits, and plain old fun. As of today, over 2,100 schools in 47 states have registered Bike to School Day events on walkbiketoschool.org. And the total number of events is expected to grow as celebrations continue throughout May, National Bike Month.

“Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez. “That’s why we’re proud to support National Bike to School Day and we’re encouraging safe bicycling skills  – no matter the age of the rider.”

National Bike to School Day
Established in 2012, National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to celebrate bicycling to school each May. It is an energetic, kid-centric part of National Bike Month and builds on the popularity of International Walk to School Day, held each October. In 2015, over 2,600 schools and community organizations registered Bike to School Day events nationwide, an 18 percent increase from the previous year. For more information, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

 

Westchester Celebrates Tax Day with Walk & Roll!

We love all of our Safe Routes to School Parent Champions because they make walking and rolling to school so much fun! Westchester Elementary Walked & Rolled on Tax day and this young man was happy to participate!

WestchesterW&R41516ii