May is Bike to School Month
Washington’s next generation of commuters will be taking to the streets as students across the state celebrate National Bike to School Month. Participating schools have planned special events to encourage students to ride their bikes or walk to school with parents, teachers and community leaders.
“Bike to School Month promotes bicycling for transportation and helps build healthier communities,” said Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson. “Events raise awareness of the benefits of bicycling and walking, such as increasing physical activity among children and reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions in neighborhoods. They also draw attention to the need for children to have safe places to walk and ride.”
Watch the video below for a great example of a Bike to School celebration in Seattle at Bryant Elementary. Hundreds of Bryant Elementary students filled the streets Wednesday, May 8th for what may have been the biggest bike to school ride in Washington history.
Safe Routes to School Program
Washington's Safe Routes to School program provides technical assistance and resources to cities, counties, schools, school districts and state agencies for improvements that get more children walking and bicycling to school safely, reduce congestion around schools, and improve air quality.
Since its inception in 2005, it has reached 177 schools, making walking and biking conditions safer for about 77,000 children. To achieve these improvements, approximately $36 million has been awarded to 96 projects from over $200 million in requests. The number of children biking and walking has increased by over 20 percent, with a measured increase in pedestrian and bicycle facilities and a reduction in motorist speeds.
Examples of Successful Projects
Click on the map below for a few highlights and pictures from this successful program.
Components of Safe Routes to School
There are three elements to Safe Routes to School -- engineering, education, and enforcement.
Services for Developing Safe Routes
To assist cities, counties, schools and school districts with this program, the WSDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator is currently providing no-cost technical assistance to past, current and future funding recipients, applicants and interested communities.
Funding for Safe Routes Projects
Funding for the Safe Routes to School Program is administered through a competitive application process. The criteria used to prioritize applications for funding is designed to address need and ensure a comprehensive approach.
2013 School Zone Flashing Beacon/Lighting Projects (pdf 362kb)
- Source - Washington Traffic Safety Commission
- Funding to install flashing yellow beacon/lighting in designated and legally marked elementary school zones. Proposals must support the WTSC's primary goal of reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries that result from traffic crashes. This goal will be accomplished through reducing motor vehicle speeds in school zones.
Progress and Performance
Information for Families
Information for Families provides links to safety tips and ways parents can become involved in Safe Routes to School.