Safe Routes Philly

Safe Routes Philly promotes biking and walking as fun, healthy forms of transportation in Philadelphia Elementary Schools. Safe Routes Philly uses the Five E’s of Safe Routes to School to guide our work: Education, Encouragement, Evaluation, Enforcement, and Engineering. Since 2010, more than 90,000 students have received our walking or bicycling safety lessons. The program has its own dedicated website for parents and educators: saferoutesphilly.org.

About the Program

The foundation of this work is our Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum. We train elementary school teachers to implement pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons, primarily during health and physical education classes. We provide free hard copies of our curriculum to any interested Philadelphia teachers and administrators. You can also download the curriculum directly here.

Since 2010, Safe Routes Philly has trained over 200 teachers and our safety lessons have been taught in 140 schools reaching over 90,000 students. In addition to the education component, we work directly with school champions to encourage more students to safely walk and bike to school. Such initiatives include Walk or Bike to School Days, Walking School Buses, Walkability Audits, and Bicycle Rodeos.

Safe Routes Philly is made possible by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.

locking up bikes
Impact

Education

  • 204 teachers trained to teach safety lessons, representing 147 schools.
  • 140 Schools have adopted the SRP lessons (meaning a teacher at that school taught the lessons).
  • Students reached by lessons since 2010: 90,000.
  • 30 (19 pedestrian and 11 bicycle) assembly programs at 13 schools, reaching 5,600 students.

Engineering:

  • Helped schools site for bike racks and help with installation paperwork. Resulted in 253 bike racks at 45 public schools.
  • Assisted 15 schools in applying for Walkability Audits (which they all received). We then help work with the city to implement recommended changes.

Encouragement:

  • Schools holding Walk and Bike to School Days: 13 (students can bike to school and store their bikes on racks if they have a lock or in a secure room in the school).
  • Schools holding Walk to School Days (no biking): 14.
  • Bike Rodeos: 8 school rodeos reaching 200 students; 3 girl scout rodeos reaching 100 girl scouts.
  • Learn to Ride classes: 6 (3 at rec centers, 1 at school, 1 activate the parkway, 1 open to public).
  • Walking School Buses – helped establish at 2 schools (Willard and Girard) and in the process of setting up a third at Stanton.  Helped 4 schools get a Walking School Bus grant ($2500 per school).
  • Meredith Safe Routes Ambassador – received a $10,000 grant to increase walking and biking to school by establishing student and parent committees to plan and promote events. So far: 1 learn to ride class, 1 bike rodeo, 3 Bike to school days from a central location.
  • Meade Bike Club – received a $10,000 grant to start an earn a bike program with donated used bikes. 6 students graduated from the program last spring. Another round are participating this fall. The students learn basic mechanics and go on rides throughout the city. School staff run this program.
To Learn More or Get Involved

Visit the program’s website or contact our education programs manager Greg Young. You can also subscribe to our monthly education newsletter, the Walk n Wheel, to receive resources and news for educators and parents.

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