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Monday, May 05, 2014
Charlotte Claybrooke, Safe Routes to School program, 360-705-7302
Paula Reeves, Local Programs Division, 360-705-7258
Drivers reminded to keep a sharp eye, share the road with cycling students
OLYMPIA – Teachers, parents and students of all ages across the state will join with others around the country to celebrate National Bike to School Day Wednesday, May 7.
National Bike to School Day encourages a nationwide, bike-focused celebration for students in the month of May and builds on the popularity and success of International Walk to School Day, which is celebrated each October.
In Washington, participating schools are planning special events that promote the enjoyment of cycling while providing bicycle-safety education, opportunities to practice safe riding skills and a chance to have fun.
Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking. They also emphasize the importance of physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment.
With these events taking place around the state, the Washington State Department of Transportation reminds motorists to share the road and watch for young bicyclists and pedestrians, especially around school zones.
“We all can remember our first bike. I remember the freedom I felt the minute I was allowed to go around the block by myself on my yellow three-speed,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “At WSDOT, it is our mission to make sure that every kid can experience a safe ride, from their very first ride around the block or to school, and someday to work or across the entire country."
WSDOT works to improve conditions for biking and walking across the state by:
- Helping schools develop school walk and bike route plans.
- Providing information about pedestrian and bicyclist safety to the public.
- Conducting training and workshops for local agencies regarding WSDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian program.
- Providing funding and design assistance for better sidewalks, crossings, walk and bike paths, and related improvements.
More information about WSDOT’s efforts to improve conditions for student pedestrians and bicyclists can be found on its Safe Routes to School website. Safety tips for bicycling and walking and other resource materials are also available.
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