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Safe Biking at School

May 9 is National Bike to School Day

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School, SRTS

Hundreds of Maine school children will bike or walk to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of National Bike to School Day on May 9th. Organized events were planned at schools across the state throughout May, which is always National Bike Month.  Check out our blog for photos and highlights from past years: Walk & bike inspiration from across the state!
The Maine Safe Route to School Program can support your event(s) with event announcement posters, walking school bus posters, and incentive stickers. Request promo materials for your event here.
Participants kicked off last year’s ride in record breaking numbers! Thousands of students pedaled their way to school during the 2017 Bike to School Day celebration! Over 3,000 schools across the country, from Maine to Hawaii participated.  Register your school in the national database to join the thousands and remember to share your event plans and photos with #BiketoSchoolDay!
Here are the Maine schools that have submitted 2018 Walk & Bike to School activities:

  • Auburn, Walton School – Bike To School Day
  • Baileyville, Woodland ES – Walk & bike events during the week of May 14
  • Bangor, Abraham Lincoln School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Bangor, Downeast School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Bangor, Vine Street School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Camden, Camden Rockport MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Cape Elizabeth, Pond Cove School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike To School Day
  • Gray, Fiddlehead School of Arts & Science – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Gray-New Gloucester HS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Gray-New Gloucester MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Russell School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Lewiston, Farwell School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Lewiston, Geiger Elementary – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Lincoln, Ella P. Burr – Walk and bike to school every Wednesday April-June
  • Portland, East End Community School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Portland, Lincoln MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Scarborough, Pleasant Hill School – Bike To School Day
  • Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • South Portland, Memorial MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Topsham, Woodside ED – Walk to school every Thursday starting April 26
  • Waterville, Albert S Hall School – The Spring BIG walk to school on May 11
  • York, Coastal Ridge ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
  • York, Village ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
  • York Middle School – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25

Would you like to enhance student walking & biking safety? Please contact us about setting up a Safe Walker and Safe Bicycle Driver educational activity at your school.  We can send an available safety instructor or train you to be the safety expert!  Submit your request here: bikemaine.org/bpse-request
We hope to see you walking or biking to school this season!

Geiger Elementary rolls into National Bike to School Day (Sun Journal)

By | Safe Biking at School

DARYN SLOVER/SUN JOURNAL

Honora White, 7, and her father, Shawn, gather Wednesday at Pettingill School Park before riding to school during the fourth annual National Bike to School Day in Lewiston. About 50 children and staff members rode to Geiger Elementary School with Lewiston police officers and members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Bruce Hall wanted to participate with his son, Jason, four years ago. He and Jason rode to school on a tandem bike in the rain by themselves. Hall organized a more formal ride the next year and the group has grown ever since. “We started small but have been growing a lot,” Hall said. John Grenier of Rainbow Bicycle and Busytown Bikes co-owner Dominic Giampaolo will team up to host the first Lewiston-Auburn Bike to Work Day on May 15.
Read More

Students put Peaks Island landmarks on the map (The Forecaster)

By | Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School
PORTLAND — Students at Peaks Island Elementary School recently unveiled a new way to see the island and learn its history.

“We chose three (of the landmarks), and we would write about it and then choose,” second-grader Scarlett Rocque said.
Marenghi said each student had to write a paper about which landmark they wanted. He read them, and most students ended up with their first or second choice.
The students worked with Bridgette Kelly from the Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education, a partnership between the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine Department of Transportation, to make the map. Kelly said she made the map, and the students didlandmark expedition for the nearly four-mile ride.
Read More

Bike to School Day (Lewiston / Auburn Sun Journal)

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School
DARYN SLOVER/SUN JOURNAL

Dru Angelides, 7, and his mom, Rebecca Grant, ride to Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston during National Bike to School Day on Wednesday. The second-grader joined about 60 of his schoolmates, parents, staff and Lewiston Community Resource Officer Joe Philippon during their commute. “On a normal school day, we might have 10 bikes on the bike rack,” said event organizer Bruce Hall, who rode to school with his son, Jason. “Bike to School Day should be every day,” educational technician Anne Behnke said. “It’s good for you. I don’t miss a day. … If I’m late, I catch bus 13,” Behnke said. “May is Bike and Walk to School Month,” said Darcy Whittemore of the Maine Safe Routes to School Program.

DARYN SLOVER/SUN JOURNAL

Students wrote down what they like about bicycles once they arrived at Geiger Elementary during National Bike to School Day in Lewiston on Wednesday.

Read More

Maine Schools Celebrate Bike and Walk to School Month Throughout May! (Press Release)

By | Coalition News, Safe Biking at School

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Darcy Whittemore
Program Manager, Maine Safe Routes to School Program
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
(207) 623-4511
saferoutes@bikemaine.org
bikemaine.org

Maine Schools Celebrate Bike and Walk to School Month Throughout May!

(Portland, ME) May 1, 2014 – May is Bike and Walk to School Month in Maine and students in over 30 schools from Madawaska to York and from Andover to Machias have announced that they will be celebrating as they commute on foot or by bicycle. A list of activities, dates and locations is available on-line here.
Parents, teachers, students, and volunteers at each school have organized fun and engaging activities such as walking school buses (children walking with adult supervision) and Walking Wednesdays, Footloose Fridays and bike trains (groups bicycling with adult supervision), as well as bike safety rodeos and after-school bike clubs. Some schools will hold one-day celebrations, while others plan walk and bike to school events for a whole month or the entire spring. Read More

Construction Starts on Pathways & Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Crossings in Three Neighborhoods

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School

TRAFFIC ADVISORY

City of Portland                
389 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04101
www.portlandmaine.gov 
CONTACT: Nicole Clegg, 207-756-8173207-272-4477 (cell) 
nicoleclegg@portlandmaine.gov

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 28, 2013

Construction Starts on Pathways & Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Crossings in Three Neighborhoods

PORTLAND, Maine – Starting later this week and continuing through the summer, the City of Portland in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation will construct multiple Safe Routes to School funded projects in three neighborhoods, East End, East Deering and North Deering. First, construction will begin in the East End on two shared-use pathway projects that also include enhancing safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings at two locations (see attached graphics). 

The first project will widen the existing 5’ wide sidewalk along Washington Avenue from the Eastern Prom to connect to the pathway on the I-295 Exit 8 southbound off-ramp. The project will construct a 10’ shared-use path separated from the roadway by a 4’-6’ wide grassed esplanade. The crossing of Washington Avenue at Eastern Promenade will also be enhanced by a pedestrian refuge island and pedestrian-activated flashers.

The second project reconfigures the ramp from Washington Avenue to Anderson and Plowman Streets to include a 10’ wide shared-use pathway. The crossing of the ramp at Washington Avenue will be enhanced by shortening the crossing distance, higher visibility crosswalk markings, and adding pedestrian-activated flashers. This path will create bicycle and pedestrian access to and from East Bayside and the Bayside Trail to Munjoy Hill and Tukey’s Bridge/the Back Cove Trail/East Deering.

While work is underway on these two projects, bicyclists and pedestrians will generally be required to use alternate routes to access the shared-use pathway on Tukey’s Bridge and the Back Cove Trail from the East End. Signs will direct path users to use alternate routes when access is closed within the work area. Work is expected to be complete in four weeks. 

The third project, scheduled to begin in July, will enhance two existing pedestrian crossings serving the Presumpscot Elementary School in East Deering. Both crossing locations will have ADA-compliant curb ramps installed, pedestrian refuge islands constructed, and add pedestrian-activated flashers.

The fourth project, also to be completed in July, will upgrade the existing pedestrian warning/crosswalk signs at the crosswalk across Washington Avenue at Maine Avenue with a pedestrian-activated flasher system.

While the projects are underway, motorists are advised to be mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists in the work zone. Motor vehicle traffic will be maintained through each of the work zones.

The projects are funded with a combination of federal, state and local Safe Routes to School funds targeted to create a safer walking and bicycling environment for elementary and middle school students.

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Video – Walking School Bus Program Kicks Off In Portland (WGME)

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School, Stay Safe

 

This article originally appeared on WGME.com

Click here to watch the video

Walking School Bus Program Kicks Off In Portland

PORTLAND (WGME) — A program just getting under way here in Portland is putting a different kind of school bus on the street, and getting kids to exercise in the process. It’s called the Walking School Bus program.

If you’d like more information, click here

So far, the program is in the Reiche School and East End Community School. Kids walk with adult volunteers along set routes to their schools each morning, and along the way they make stops at various points to pick up more kids. Just like a traditional school bus. 

The program accomplishes two goals: getting kids to school safely and promoting exercise too.

Program coordinator Betsy Critchfield says, “A lot of parents have concerns about letting their kids walk to school by themselves especially kindergarten and first grade and so we just wanted to enable that to happen in a safe environment.”

“Physical activity is one way to set kids up for learning, to be open to learning so this is one way to do that,” says Peter McCormack, assistant principal at East End School.

The program needs your help.  They are looking for more adult volunteers so that they can allow more kids to join in the fun.

Maine Schools Celebrate Walk and Bike to School Month Throughout May!

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School, Stay Safe

Darcy Whittemore
Program Manager, Maine Safe Routes to School Program
saferoutes@bikemaine.org 
(207) 623-4511

Maine Schools Celebrate Walk and Bike to School Month Throughout May!

(Portland, ME) May 1, 2013 – May is Walk and Bike to School Month in Maine and students in over 30 schools from Fort Kent to York and from Rangely to Lincolnville have announced that they will be celebrating as they commute on foot or by bicycle.  A list of activities, dates and locations is available on-line here.

Parents, teachers, students, and volunteers at each school have organized fun and engaging activities such as walking school buses (children walking with adult supervision) and walking field trips, bike trains and biking field trips (groups bicycling with adult supervision), as well as bike safety rodeos and after-school bike clubs.  Some schools will hold one-day celebrations, while others plan walk and bike to school events for a whole month or the entire spring.  

May is also National Bike Month and a number of schools will hold bike-to-school events to celebrate the 2nd Annual National Bike to School Day on May 8. “Events are fairly easy to organize and build great local enthusiasm – and spring can be an especially good time to organize activities as the weather improves,” shared Darcy Whittemore, Program Manager for the Maine Safe Routes to School Program.

Throughout the year, Maine’s federally funded Safe Routes to School Program — a program of the Maine Department of Transportation, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and communities throughout the state — supports local efforts to improve safety, build life-long transportation skills, and increase physical activity to fight childhood obesity.  A number of studies demonstrate the academic performance benefits to children who walk and bike before the beginning of the school day.  “Students arrive at school alert and ready to learn.  So this program is very much a win-win for students, families and school staff,” said Nancy Grant, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Communities already registered to participate in walk and bike activities this spring include: Bangor, Bath, Biddeford, Bridgton, Camden, Fort Kent, Gray, Hampden, Kennebunk, Lewiston, Lincolnville, Madawaska, Madison, Milford, Monmouth, Naples, New Gloucester, North Berwick, Oakland, Pittsfield, Portland, Rangeley, Raymond, Saco, Scarborough, Sebago, South Portland, Topsham, Winterport and York.  It is likely that additional schools also will participate. 

For more information, visit MaineSafeRoutes.org

 

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About the Maine Safe Routes to School Program – Established in 2001, the Maine Safe Routes to School Program assists communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school.  Federally-funded since 2005, the Maine Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is a partnership of the Maine Department of Transportation, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and communities throughout the state. The program provides technical support and over 190  Maine schools have participated in various Safe Routes to School activities, with many expanding their initiatives involving bicycle and pedestrian safety education, and encouragement and incentive programs to get more students and their families walking and biking.

In Maine, 90% of the Safe Routes to School Program funding (the maximum allowed under the SAFETEA-LU federal transportation bill) have been used to build physical infrastructure to make it safer for students to walk and bicycle to school.  Infrastructure examples include sidewalks, crossing improvements, off-road connections, improved signage, etc.  Since 2005 over 40 Maine communities have been awarded SRTS infrastructure improvements funding.  “These federally-funded safety improvements have been extremely helpful in creating safer pedestrian and bicycle travel and reducing traffic congestion around schools in communities throughout the state,” said Dan Stewart, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager for the Maine Department of Transportation.

 

 

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Past Meets Future: More Maine Kids Commute to School on Two Feet (MPBN)

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School

This story originally appeared on MPBN.net

03/26/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter

More school children in Maine’s largest city could soon be making the morning commute – or at least some of it – on two feet instead of four wheels. A “Walking School Bus” program gets underway next month at two Portland elementary schools. Click here for more.

 

Walking bus 1 Students crossing street