The Marin County Bicycle Coalition Pilot Tests New Safe Routes Curriculum

6th Grade students from Mill Valley Middle School are learning to "drive" their bikes.

Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Safe Routes to School (http://www.marinbike.org) have partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) and Mill Valley Middle School's Physical Education Dept. to devote five weeks of PE classes to test a new series of Safe Routes to School bicycle and pedestrian safety lessons. Mill Valley Middle School was selected as the first test pilot for this new NHTSA national curriculum.

On October 4th, all 270 6th grade students started with helmet and bike fit, and moved on to parking lot skill drills, pedestrian training, intersection theory, practice, and are working up to practicing their skill on a neighborhood bike rides on bike paths and roads. The sixth graders are participating during their twice-weekly PE hour.

"I have worked with some of these students in second and fourth grade in our Safe Routes to School programs in Mill Valley. It is so rewarding to see them take it to the next level. Every student has shown improvement in the four weeks that we have been working up to the neighborhood rides.' says Safe Routes instructor Chris Davis.

"Teaching students how to drive their bikes will help them to be safer on the road and healthier in the long run, "says Safe Routes Instructor Jason Agar.

Parents, police officers, and teachers in Mill Valley hope the course will encourage more bicycling and walking to school, help relieve traffic congestion around schools, and teach children the benefits of non-motorized transport

Neighborhood ride times are this and next Wednesday 11:00-12:00, Thursday 9am-12 noon and 1-2pm, and Friday 9-11 and 1-3pm. Rides leave hourly from the school.

If you are interested in volunteering call Safe Routes to School at 456-3469x5#.

For more information regarding the program contact Safe Routes Instructors Jason Agar (415) 453-4993 or Chris Davis (415) 302-7526.


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