Wednesday, December 09, 2009

School Board endorses BikeSafe program

The Miami-Dade School Board today endorsed the new BikeSafe program at the University of Miami's medical school. The program is modeled after UM's 7-year-old WalkSafe, which works to reduce injuries to children on the streets near schools. BikeSafe is working with the county parks department to develop an after-school program of bicycle education for middle school children. Its coordinator is Jamie Caulkins, left, who works for WalkSafe director Dr. Gillian Hotz.

WalkSafe started in 2002 with a handful of schools in Miami-Dade neighborhoods that had high pedestrian-injury numbers. It gradually expanded until its material is now offered statewide. Pedestrian injuries of children are sharply down in the Miami-Dade neighborhoods where WalkSafe has been at work.

Today's resolution was offered by School Board Vice Chair Perla Tabares Hantman. It made no mention of the school system's own bicycle education program, abandoned years ago.

For more about the whole concept behind today's action, I recommend you check out Safe Routes to School, a national program pioneered in the Northeast and taken nationwide when the League of American Bicyclists enlisted support for it in Congress.

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