Beverly Leigh is a bike safety education advocate from Klamath Falls. She helped me put together a FAQ resource about programming and funding for youth bike and pedestrian programs. This is great advice for anyone who is looking to bring a bike safety education program to their school or community. Thanks, Beverly! -LAF
Briefly describe your youth bike and pedestrian programs (Safe Routes to School or Walk+Bike programs, etc, include as many of the E’s as you want (Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Evaluation, and Enforcement)
Education: Ten hour bike safety education class in taught to 5th & 6th grade students in county schools. Trained student navigators model safe behavior to peers and younger students and lead W+B events; law enforcement visits navigators to discuss bike, ped and driver safety and offer ridealongs so students may observe driver behavior in their neighborhood/school zones; PE teachers and teacher champions have and know Neighborhood Navigator and implement as they can; all elementary students view safety video made by Shasta Elementary students with SRTS funds.
Encouragement: Assist schools in organizing, promoting and implementing Walk and Bike to School Days, including school bus drop off program in Malin; Bike Road-eos and Helmet Safety Clinics; Safety Poster Contests; distribute our safety video and Space Monkey video game at community events; distribute Neighborhood Navigator curriculum to all elementary teachers via hard copy notebook, disk and web link; focused on Hispanic outreach in partnership with the Hispanic Advisory Board, distribute safety info in Spanish and participate in Cinco de Mayo Festival with a helmet safety clinic, using Migrant Head Start teachers as helmet fitters and students rode bicycle fleet in the parade; organized first annual Family Safety Fair, scheduled for Saturday, September 29 in collaboration with Eagle Ridge Charter High School, located in the heart of downtown during the same time as the Farmer’s Market. The Fair is being organized with input from Eagle Ridge students doing community service projects. Besides the traditional safety vendors, Eagle Ridge students have created a kids “mini safety fair” featuring hands-on activities. SRTS student navigators will assist with the bike road-eo; a helmet safety clinic and $5 helmets will be available, and students will run a healthy foods stand from the school kitchen.
This year, we also purchased an 8×20 trailer to transport the bike fleet we purchased last program year to county elementary schools. Our SRTS program was selected by the Cycle Oregon Fund as spotlight program for their closing ceremony on September 14; they are donating a 35 bike fleet to the school district (increasing the number of schools that can access bikes during our short “good weather” season) and interviewing Student Navigators about their experience utilizing the bike fleet and the BSE class during the ceremony.
Engineering: Attend various public meetings to advocate for engineering changes; for example, worked with community partners to get sidewalks for Stearns Elementary School into the TSP.
Evaluation: Perform SRTS teacher and parent tallies/surveys.
Enforcement: Purchased state of the art radar gun for City Police; funded law enforcement overtime hours for school speed zone enforcement and failure to yield in school zones in both City and County elementary school zones; organized ridealongs for students to observe driver behavior.
What are the funding streams that you had last year and the approximate percentage of costs covered by each?
SRTS – $55,467 (won’t expend all of it, and haven’t expended all in either of the previous years)
ACTS Oregon – $4,669 Building Safer Communities Grant for radar gun and law enforcement wages
Transportation Options – $5,000 in support of Family Safety Fair (won’t expend all of that either)
What additional funding streams are you planning for this year or future years, and how much do you expect it to cover?
SRTS Tier Two Grant – $35,000 Staff and basic costs
ACTS Oregon Mini-Grant – $5,000 Enforcement
Pacific Power Foundation – $2,500 Helmet Safety
Local Businesses/Other Funders to be identified (ex. Wal-Mart Foundation, Rails to Trails, Kiwanis, Rotary, Soroptomists, etc.) for incentives, printing, bike maintenance funding, second annual Family Safety Fair, etc.
Any advice for new programs?
Go on a “Best Practices” tour – When I first started with SRTS, I visited Kim (Bend), Shane (Eugene) and Gigi (Corvallis) and learned from them and it was invaluable to me as someone with no experience in walk and bike, but lots of experience as a community builder.
Honor each school for where they are now; the ripple effect takes time (think tobacco prevention – when I grew up, people smoked in airplanes!). Practice Patience.
Never miss an opportunity to promote the successes of your teachers and other adult champions and our students – they are the heart of our programs.