Safe Routes Philly promotes biking and walking as fun, healthy forms of transportation in Philadelphia Elementary Schools. Safe Routes Philly uses the Five E’s of Safe Routes to School to guide our work: Education, Encouragement, Evaluation, Enforcement, and Engineering. Since 2010, more than 90,000 students have received our walking or bicycling safety lessons.
The Safe Routes Philly program introduces walking and cycling as fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly activities. In addition to walking and riding safely, students learn to view the bicycle and their feet as good means of recreation, exercise and transportation. Encouraging students to bicycle and walk more addresses issues of active living, obesity and diabetes, and environmental health.
What are the three keys to being a safe bicyclist or walker?
- Responsible – Students learn how to be responsible for their safety through fun lessons addressing being aware of their environment, helmet use, performing a pre-ride bicycle safety check, and learning how to recognize hazards while walking or riding their bicycles.
- Visible – Students learn how being visible keeps them safer: where a bicycle should ride on the road (lane positioning), safe street crossing techniques, communicating with motorists and other pedestrians and bicyclists, and the importance of wearing brightly colored/reflective clothing.
- Predictable – Students learn the concept of “driving a bicycle” and being a predictable pedestrian. The lessons focus on the rules of the road. These lessons help students understand the concept that walkers and drivers (including bicycle drivers) need to be predictable in their actions to stay safe.
Safe Routes Philly is a program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and is supported by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health and the National Highway Safety Administration grant awarded to the Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems.
The Bicycle Coalition is a non-profit education and advocacy group working to make the Greater Philadelphia Region a better place to ride a bike. For more information about the Bicycle Coalition’s educational efforts, check out the official blog.