10 Tips for Building Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School is a national program that seeks to promote children’s mobility to get to and from school. It is essential for children’s health and safety, and improves student success and attendance. But because funding and accountability in the US is limited, it’s easy for programs to be overlooked or insufficient. Here are tips for Building or strengthening the program at your school here in Provo (and elsewhere)!

#1: Join your School Community Council: This council is tasked with submitting the annual Safe Routes plan each spring, as well as to allocate or apply for any funds. It is critical that you join this council as a parent or teacher to make headway in Safe Routes!

#2: Remember that a program differs from the annual plan: Each spring, the school community council is supposed to submit a Safe Routes plan, as well as an updated map, to the city. This plan can include any requests for your school’s infrastructure or enforcement (esp crossing guards and infrastructure).

The plan is important, but if it’s the only part of the school’s Safe Routes efforts, it will not be enough. The plan should be submitted in the context of the school’s ongoing, consistent Safe Routes Program. See next.

#3: A Safe Routes to School Program should include all 6 E’s: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Equity. In order to be successful, all pieces are needed! See example program outline here.

#4: Look up specific strategies for each of the 6 E’s to suggest during school community council meetings to create your program. The National Partnership for Safe Routes to School has an excellent guide with examples of strategies for each. Discuss these early in the year…

#5: …and include input from the school community, including students themselves! Be persistent in distributing surveys and maps to get as much feedback as possible. Families best know the uneven sidewalks, the tricky intersections, and the particular needs you may have overlooked! See example survey from Timpanogos Elementary.

#6: Publish findings to school community. What are the benefits and obstacles that are most important for your school? How can people come together to address needs? Simple graphics made on Canva can be very effective.

#7: Bring Bike Utah’s free bike safety class for your 4th graders! They’ll bring the bikes, the helmets, and the instruction. Work this into the Education Strategies for your Safe Routes Program each year if possible! See more here.

#8: Conduct walking/biking counts by asking volunteers from PTA, neighborhood residents, and even local universities/high schools: Counting the number and location of students walking/biking is an important part of the Evaluation strategies in your program. See more on how to measure your program.

#9: Get inspired by other programs doing things right! Las Cruces School District in New Mexico, or the program in Seattle.

#10: Like/follow key organizations that advocate for safer mobility for children:

Bonus: Sign up for Bike Week each September & keep the momentum going all year with a strong Safe Routes to School program!

Provo Bicycle Collective Gives 90 Bikes for Bike to School Week

From Provo Bicycle Collective:

“When the school district asked us to participate in Bike to School Week this year, we went all in. Provo Bicycle Collective originally promised 75 bikes to local elementary schools, but the requests kept coming after that, until we reached 90 bikes.

Why did we promise this? Because every kid deserves a bike. Most of us remember our first bike as a child because it gave us freedom; freedom to explore at the speed of discovery. Every child deserves this feeling.

This week, most of those bikes were given out to children who didn’t already own a bike. To say they were thrilled is an understatement. I’ll let this photo do the talking from here.

If you’ve ever volunteered with us, know that you played a huge part in this. All giveaway bikes are refurbished by volunteers like you. We can’t thank you enough! See more photos of these kids here and don’t forget to share!

If you’d like to ensure all kids get a bike, regardless of family income, donate today!Just $50 gives a bike to a kid in need!”

5th Annual Provo Bike-to-School Week

Don’t miss the 2015 Bike-to-School Week, September 8-11th.


Check with your school to see how they are participating.

Through the Bike-to-School Challenge, students who bike to school will be entered to win daily prizes and a grand prize at the end of the week at each participating school. Prizes are generously donated by Provo’s bike shops – Krueg’s, Canyon Bicycles, Racers, Mad Dog, Taylors, Outdoors Unlimited, and the Provo Bicycle Collective.

Help your school win the Rad Riders Award! The School with the most bicycles during the week will win an awesome award.

Students Bicycle in Unprecedented Numbers during Bike-to-School Week

by Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair


Last week, I presented the Rad Riders’ Award to Westridge Elementary School for

having the most bicycle trips during last month’s Provo’s Fourth Annual Bike-to-

School Week (September 8-12) of all the K-12 schools in the Provo School District.

Students at Westridge made a grand total of 826 bicycle trips during those five days

of school, even though Monday and Tuesday morning were a bit rainy and chilly.

Impressive, but not all far behind were many other schools.


Students all across Provo bicycled to school that week, and continue to do so. (When

I visited Westridge last Monday, the five or six bike racks were nearly full.) Other

schools, such as Wasatch, Sunset View, Centennial, and Rock Canyon reported

that their bike racks were overflowing during bike week. And some schools that

participated for the first time this year, such as Franklin and Amelia Earhart, had

high participation rates. Some schools such as Edgemont extended the week beyond

bicycles to include scooters and walking, but what was important was that students

were using their own two-feet to get to school in unprecedented numbers. As the

Daily Herald put it, “The Sun Came Out; So Did the Bikes.” Parents got involved too,

riding with their children to school across the city, for example, from the Carterville

Neighborhood to Westridge. At Lakeview, one parent volunteer tuned up many

dozens of bikes for hours one day after school. Thank you schools and parents for all

your support.




And thanks to Mayor Curtis for jumpstarting things by proclaiming Bike-to-School

Week during a City Council meeting in early September. Thanks to the bike shops—

Canyons, Mad Dog, Outdoors Unlimited, Racers, and Taylor’s—that provided prizes

to assigned schools to help motivate students to ride. Thanks to Provo Parks and

Rec (and UVRMC as well as the Utah County Health Department, Jigawatt Cycles and

Mad Dog) for their support of the Bike-in-Movie and the Provo Bicycle Collective for

holding the Bike Tune-up Workshop. And most of all, thanks to all the students—

young and old—who rode and continue to bicycle to school. They know, from

experience, that everyday is a good day to bicycle.


Here are some photos of the week and the presentation of the Rad Riders’ Award at




Provo Bike-to-School Week 2014

A Week of Prizes, Bike-In Movies, Tune-Up Workshops, and More

For Provo students, school is in full swing. And now is the perfect time to get in the habit of riding as a family. Kids that ride their bike to school start the day with exercise, become more aware of their community, and are better able to concentrate on their studies.

During Provo Bike-to-School Week, our local elementary, middle, and  high schools will offer a variety of programs to help kids get in the habit of riding to school.

provo bike to school week 2014

Students who bicycle to school will have the opportunity to win daily prizes and a weekly grand prize from Mad Dog Cycles, Taylor’s Bike Shop, Racers Cycle Services, Canyon Bicycles, and Outdoors Unlimited. Several schools will offer bike safety checks and group “bike buses” of students riding together. You can also compete against other participating Provo Schools for the Rad Riders’ Award.

Come to the Provo Bicycle Collective (49 North 1100 West Unit 2) on Wednesday, September 10th from 6-8 p.m. for a free tune-up workshop where you can learn how to do basic maintenance on your own bicycle.

On Friday, September 12th, don’t miss the Bike-In Movie ET, sponsored by Provo Parks and Rec. This classic will begin showing at dark.

Check back here (and be on the lookout for updates from your school) to find out more about Bike-to-School Week. Happy riding!

“If We Build It, They Will Come”: Provo Bike-to-School Week 2013

“If we build it, they will come.” These prophetic words of a little girl about constructing a ballpark in a cornfield are also proving true for creating bike lanes around schools in Provo.  This fall, parent volunteers at nearly a dozen K-12 schools, with the support of all of Provo’s bike shops, organized Bike-to-School Week activities and hundreds of students rode and continue to ride to school, many of them taking advantage of Provo’s expanding network of bike lanes and paths.

bike kids

During the week of September 9-13, Provo High, Centennial Junior High, Lakeview, Provost, Sunset View, Timpanogos, Westridge, and Wasatch Elementary held Bike-to-School Week. Parent volunteers passed out tickets to students who rode to school that entered them into drawings for daily prizes and grand prize that were provided by local bike shops.  Collectively that week, several hundred students rode to school, many for the first time, and many are continuing to ride.  At many schools, bike racks were overflowing. The daughter of one PTO president was not confident on a bike and had never ridden to school, but after a week of riding during Bike-to-School Week she now loves to ride. Thanks to Bingham, Mad Dog, Outdoors Unlimited, Racer’s, and Taylor’s for their generous support of Bike-to-School Week by providing the prizes, which included an array of large and small bike-related items such as locks, helmets, bike messenger bags, and bicycles.

From September 30-October 4, two more schools—Timpview High and Canyon Crest—held their own Bike-to-School Week.

At a few schools, parents provided free bike safety checks and simple tune-ups. At Lakeridge Elementary, for example, three parents and an older sibling provided repairs in conjunction with a bike rodeo. They worked non-stop for two hours fixing tires and making sure bikes were road-worthy.  The kids, they said, “lined up seemingly forever.” And they went away with safer bikes.

bikes parked at schoolSONY DSCSONY DSC

Thanks to all the parent volunteers who helped organize these events, to each of the bike shops, and most of all to all the students who rode and continue to ride. As we as a community continue to build an interconnected bike lane and trail system and culture that makes it safer to ride, people—young and old—will come and ride and Provo will be a healthier, happier, and more livable community.

Post submitted by Aaron Skabelund – Provo Bicycle Committee Chair & Organizer of this year’s bike-to-school week

Provo Bike-to-School Week!

School has just begun and there’s no better way to get there than by bike. Provo Mayor John Curtis has declared this week to be Bike-to-School Week. And, the Provo Bicycle Committee has helped organize events with parent volunteers in schools throughout the community this week.

You’ll also want to check out these awesome activities, free for anyone that wants to show up and be a part of Provo’s growing bicycle culture:

Mon. September 9 – 9 pm Monday night night ride, Joaquin Park

Wed. September 11 – Free bike tune up clinic 7 pm, Provo Bicycle Collective, 49 N. 1100 W. #2

Wed. September 11 – Bike Polo Wells Fargo parking lot 7 pm

Thurs. September 12 –  West Side Family Bike Ride, 6:30- (starting at the Fort Utah Park, down to the River Parkway trail head and back. It is 5.57 miles round trip, nice flat path)

Fri. September 13 –  Bike in Movie ET (yay!) 8pm, Joaquin Park

Sat. September 14 – Provelo Bicycle Picnic. Bring your own picnic and be ready for fun. 2pm-4pm Paul Reams Wilderness Park

All events are student friendly, family friendly, and single friendly. Please, come out to show your support of bikes in Provo and make some new friends! And, don’t forget to ride your bike (or encourage your kids to ride their bikes) to school this week!

Post illustration created by Ron Jensen, a member of the Provo Bike Committee. 

Edgemont Bike Bake Sale Raises Funds for Two New Racks

Congratulations to Edgemont Elementary students and parents! Their bake sale last weekend raised enough money for TWO new bike racks instead of just one. They report:

On Saturday, September 10, several Edgemont Elementary students ran a bake sale to raise money for a bike rack. A huge thank you to these students and their parents whose enthusiasm, yummy contributions, and sweet teeth earned over $500! Now, bike to school for a healthy way to burn those extra calories, and keep your eyes peeled for a place to park those wheels on the south side of Edgemont Elementary.

Sharlene Goodliffe, a concerned parent, wanted to have a bike rack in the back of Edgemont for the children traveling to school from the south. She contacted Principal Dennis Pratt if that would be possible. He said they could move one but money would be needed to have another. So Sharlene sought donations for a bake sale to help raise money. With the help of kids and parents they raised over $500 for new bike racks.

Way to go Edgemont!! We need to replicate this all over Provo, and have every week be bike to school week.

Thanks also to everyone that went out and bought some goodies to support the cause, especially the blog readers that rode up to support a more bike-friendly school after seeing a post about it.

Creating Bicycle-Friendly Communities Forum Wednesday Sept. 21

:)The Utah Valley Earth Forum has invited the Provo Bicycle Committee to lead a discussion about bikes in Provo this Wednesday. Here are the details:

At the next meeting of the Utah Valley Earth Forum, The Provo Bicycle Committee will lead a discussion on how we can all help our communities to become more bike-friendly, and promote the economic, environmental, and health benefits of bicycle riding. They have published a “Provo Ride Guide,” which will be available at the Forum meeting. The meeting will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 21 in room 201 of the Provo Library. The public is invited to attend.

Don’t miss this sure-to-be amazing forum about the progress that has been made in Provo and what we can do next. Since the library has new bike racks, there should be plenty of cycle parking.
Creative Commons License photo credit: lightwerk

Provo Bike-to-School Week

Don’t miss these exciting events and giveaways for bike-to-school week September 17-25! BYU students and Provo school district students will be treated to free tune-ups and bike registrations, group rides, interesting lectures, and more. Plus, there activities throughout the week for non-students and the whole family to enjoy!

  • Saturday Sept. 17, 11-1, Bike Economics 101 & Brunch, Live from Portland, the Muse Music Café (suggested donation $10-20). Great for adult and high school riders.
  • Sunday Sept. 18, Ride to Church, at whatever time it starts. Great for the whole family.
  • Monday Sept. 19, Night Ride, 9 pm, Joaquin Park. Great for adult and high school riders.
  • Wednesday Sept. 21, Free Tune-ups, 8-1, Brigham Square. Great for BYU students.
  • Wednesday Sept. 21, “Livable Communities & Bicycles,” 7, Provo Library. Great for adults and high school students.
  • Wednesday Sept. 21, Bike Polo, 7, Wells Fargo Bank Parking Lot. Great for adults / high schoolers to play, great for kids to watch.
  • Thursday Sept. 22, Provo High School Students get Free Bike Tune-ups & Free Bike Licensing in the Courtyard during lunch. (Just for Provo High students)
  • Friday Sept. 23, Provo Downtown Rock and Roll, 6:30 p.m. (Center Street will be closed to automobiles for this event). Great for the whole family.
  • Sunday Sept 25, Ride to Church, Again and Again and…

Don’t forget to keep checking BikeProvo.org, our bike events calendar, and the Bike Provo Facebook page for more updates throughout the week!