What is Safe Routes Philly?
Safe Routes Philly is the youth education and encouragement program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Safe Routes Philly promotes biking and walking as fun, healthy forms of transportation in Philadelphia Elementary Schools.
What does Safe Routes Philly offer?
We work with all Philadelphia elementary schools with 2nd and 5th grades to train, encourage and support teachers to teach their students the Safe Routes Philly pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons. In addition, we work with schools to set up ongoing pedestrian and bicycle encouragement programs. Visit the Program Information page for more.
Is the program available outside of Philadelphia?
Due to our funding source requirements, we work solely within the City of Philadelphia. Schools outside Philadelphia should contact Diana Owens Steif for permission to use our materials.
How is Safe Routes Philly related to Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes Philly is a local Safe Routes to School program. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are independently run, and vary by location. As a SRTS program, Safe Routes Philly works with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
How can I get your educational materials? Is there a cost?
Our educational materials can be found on our website under the Schools >> Curriculum page. Lessons and activities are free for download to the public. We will provide printed copies of our materials to Philadelphia elementary schools with 2nd and 5th grade classes on a case by case basis.
How can I get your curriculum in my child’s school?
We would love to help you bring Safe Routes Philly to your school! Please go to our contact information page and contact one the Education and Safety team members for more information.
Will the bicycle lessons be on-bike?
Both the bicycle and pedestrian safety lessons were developed with movement in mind but because schools have limited resources the lessons are not on bike.
Will bikes/helmets be provided?
When Safe Routes Philly hosts bicycle rodeos, learn to ride classes or encouragement activity events they bring a handful of bikes and helmets for youth participants to borrow who may not have their own equipment. However, it is recommended that children participate in on-bicycle events with their own bicycle and helmet so they can get used to their own equipment.
Is it OK for my child to ride on the sidewalk?
In the City of Philadelphia it is required by law for anyone over the age of 12 operating a pedal-cycle (bicycle, unicycle, tricycle) to ride in the street. A bicycle is considered a legal vehicle and therefore as a legal vehicle we are expected to ride in the street just like cars. Safe Routes Philly lessons help prepare young people for the skills necessary to ride in the street as safely as possible.
Do you teach kids how to ride a bike?
Safe Routes Philly programming applies to children who are biking or who may be biking in the future and need to learn basic bicycle safety skills. Safe Routes Philly has partnered with recreation centers during the summers to offer Learn to Ride classes for youth ages 5 & up. Check out the BCGP calendar for more information. Parents: check out our Get Involved page for tips on how to teach your child how to ride a bicycle.
My child’s bike is broken. How can I get it fixed without spending a lot of money?
One of the best resources in the city for fixing a bicycle on a budget is Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW). NBW is a West Philadelphia-based non-profit that offers support, classes and tools that empower youth and adults to take an active role in maintaining their own bicycle. There are over 40 bike shops in the City of Philadelphia and all have mechanical abilities to help remedy a broken bike. Check out the Bicycle Coalition’s website to see which bike shops participate in our membership benefits discounts.