Safe Routes to School Kicks Off the New School Year

September 7th is the first day of school for Seattle Public Schools and the SDOT Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program got kids and parents excited about the start of the new school year!

The first annual SRTS Kickoff Event on Friday, August 26th in Cedar Park was a great success! More than 100 people from schools across the city gathered in the Lake City neighborhood for a fun afternoon of promoting safer ways for kids to walk and bike to school.

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The first 50 people got free helmets and help with helmet fittings at the SRTS Kick off event!

After learning about safe driving and walking, people won gift cards donated by Recycled Cycles and gear donated by R2 Bicycles. Families also got repairs done on their bikes, thanks to Hampsten Cycles, Mend Bicycles, and R2 Bicycles. There was music, healthy snacks and a bike rodeo put on by Lake City Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club, which also had some “slow races” – where the winner comes in last! Kids enjoyed bicycle-themed story time and heard their favorite books read by Nancy Pew of the Seattle Public Library, Lake City Branch.

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Bicycle Storytime with Nancy Pew from the Seattle Public Library.

Parents learned about the Mini Grant Program, which provides up to $1,000 for activities that promote safe walking and biking to school and is accepting applications October 1st – 31st. Families explored their best route to school using SDOT’s interactive walking and biking maps, neighbors heard about the Cedar Park Elementary School SRTS Project and people got Vision Zero safety yard signs to put up in their neighborhoods.

Everyone had a blast at this event that was packed with fun and information! Michael Snyder, whose 3 ½ year-old son had a great time riding his balance bike around the track said, “It was great to see so many children and adults learn how to ride more safely. As a society, we do a great job teaching children that we stop at a stop sign, but most don’t quite know what to do next.” But now he does!

What a great way to start off the school year!