Education – Getting Started!
Why Safe Routes to School?
Starting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is an opportunity to make walking and biking to school safer for school children grades K-8 and to increase the number of those children who choose to walk and bicycle. On a broader level, SRTS programs:
- ease traffic congestion, enhance student transportation choice, and save school districts money on busing costs
- boost academic performance and improve classroom behavior
- increase student physical activity levels and help address Maine’s high childhood obesity rate
- decrease carbon emissions and air pollution – subsequently decreasing childhood respiratory events
Register a Walk/Bike to School Event! Registering your event helps to communicate how important this work is! The information collected from these registrations allows the program to track the vast number of diverse biking and walking events around the state. See our one-pager, Plan a Walk or Bike to School Event for help planning your next event.
Order promotional and incentive materials – By registering your local bike and walk events with the Maine SRTS Program, you are eligible to receive FREE promotion and incentive materials to support your event.
Bicycle and pedestrian safety presentations – The SRTS Program offers FREE interactive 40-50 minute presentations on bike/walk safety to schools, YMCAs, boy/girl scout troops, and other events; emphasis on youth grades 3-6.
Technical assistance with bike rodeos – Bike safety rodeos are popular community events that actually get kids riding! The SRTS program offers technical assistance and training in how to coordinate a bicycle rodeo event. Emphasis on grades K-4. Some restrictions apply. Your group is REQUIRED to provide a local volunteer organizer, a minimum of 6 volunteers, traffic cones, and crushed lime. Check out our Draft Bicycle Rodeo Resource to learn more.
Apply to the Off Road Bicycle Education (ORBE) Program – this program seeks to educate people on 1. How to operate mountain bikes in a safe and environmentally sensitive fashion, and 2. How to lay out and build sustainable, environmentally conscientious trails that serve the needs of hikers, runners, snowshoers and bicycle riders.
One-time Instructional Rides – The SRTS Program provides Ride Leader training for one-time on-road, mountain, and trail bike rides; in some cases a SRTS program instructor will be provided as the Ride Leader. Emphasis on grades 6-8. Bikes & helmets not provided.
K-8 Safety Education Resources and Videos – Check out the sidebar for Youth Education Resources you can use to promote safe biking and walking among youth in your classroom and community.
Promote your bike and walk to school events through the Maine Safe Routes to School Blog. Email your event updates and photos to your regional SRTS representative.
Basic Technical Assistance from SRTS Staff – SRTS Staff are available for calls and in-person meeting to help you implement your safe biking and walking initiatives. Email your regional SRTS representative to set up a call; their contact information is in the sidebar.
Safe Routes to School News & Updates
- Maine Walking School Bus Program – Lessons Learned – The Maine Walking School Bus (WSB) Program worked with nine different elementary schools over five years to help them start and run daily WSBs. We learned a few things along the way – check out the Lessons Learned here!
- National Walk to School Day is Oct. 10th! – Hundreds of Maine school children will walk or bike to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of National Walk to School Day on October 10th. Organized events are planned at schools across the state throughout October, Continue Reading
- May 9 is National Bike to School Day – 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 Continue Reading
- Classroom presentations
- Bicycle rodeos
- Instructional rides
- PE & afterschool programming
Walk & Bike to School
- One time events
- Multi week events including a “Walking School Bus”
- Infrastructure assessment assistance
- Travel Planning
Youth Off Road Bicycle Education Program
The Youth Off Road Bicycle (ORBE) Program seeks to educate youth on 1. How to operate mountain bikes in a safe and environmentally sensitive fashion, and 2. How to lay out and build sustainable, environmentally conscientious trails that serve the needs of hikers, runners, snowshoers and bicycle riders. This year, the program seeks to partner with schools to create/support riding programs that engage students with the healthy fun and excitement of off-road trail riding. Schools can participate in just the riding instruction, just the trail building instruction, or both parts of the program. Click here to learn more and apply.
Kids Biking Basics
Kids love bikes! Bikes are a child’s first freedom machine, and teach independence to kids while they provide fun physical activity. Riding a bike is one of the most grown up things kids can do, as they are really operating on their own. Click here for tips on how to keep your youngster safe when he or she is riding a bike (NOTE: these tips are intended for kids under the age of 13)
Adult Bike and Pedestrian Education & Resources
For bicycle and pedestrian education and encouragement assistance for youth grades 9-12 as well as adults, visit our Adult Education page.
Public Service Announcements
For More Information
Darcy Whittemore, Central & Western Maine Region
Shannon Belt, Southern Maine Region
Erik daSilva, Eastern & Northern Maine Region
Maine Bicycle & Pedestrian Education Program
MaineDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
Optional Callout Bar
Explanation of optional callout bar. Explanation of optional callout bar. Explanation of optional callout bar.
Bike Maine Swap 2018