Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School Logo

The goal of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is to increase the number of students who get to and from school by walking or biking. The program supports and encourages safe walking and bicycling to school in order to:

  • Ease traffic congestion generally, and especially around schools during AM/PM peaks
  • Improve air quality around schools
  • Increase physical activity for students and realize cognitive and behavioral benefits
  • Allow the continued growth of a sustainable Cambridge community

Education

The SRTS program offers bicycle and pedestrian education to Cambridge students. Training builds students' traffic safety skills and helps them navigate the city safely by foot or bicycle. In addition, training seeks to teach students why walking and bicycling are good for themselves and the environment.

Second Grade Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Unit

The Cambridge Safe Routes to School program offers a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Unit to all second grade students in Cambridge Public Schools. Students are learn about pedestrian and bicycle safety in a four lesson unit in PE classes

During the pedestrian lessons, the concepts of crossing streets and intersections safely are taught and then practiced in the real world. Students learn the importance of crossing the street at a crosswalk and how to cross at different types of intersections. Students also learn about sidewalk and driveway safety as well as how to safely navigate a parking lot which lacks sidewalks.

For the bicycle lesson, students learn to properly fit a helmet, how to make sure a bicycle is safe to ride (the ABC check), why biking is good for them and the environment, basic bicycle maintenance, the rules of the road, and bicycle hand signals. The Safe Routes to School program distributes and fits free bike helmets for each student.

Sixth Grade Advanced On-Bike Training

The Cambridge Safe Routes to School program offers on-bicycle training to all sixth-grade students in Cambridge Public Schools. The purpose of the training is to build bicycling skills, help students navigate the city safely by bike, teach them why biking is good for themselves and the environment, and encourage bicycling to school for those who wish to do so. Students utilize a city-owned bike fleet of child specific bicycles. 

Topics covered in this advanced training include: transitioning from sidewalk riding to riding on the road, riding safely on different types of bike infrastructure, avoiding the “door zone”, developing intersection strategy, balancing at low speeds, securely locking bicycles, and safely maneuvering around potholes or other roadway obstructions.

The training culminates in a group bike ride on city streets with the assistance of the Cambridge Police Department to demonstrate and practice the bicycle skills learned.

School Travel in Cambridge

Each year, the SRTS program collects data regarding school travel in Cambridge. Click here to see out how Cambridge students traveled to school in 2015 and 2016. We are currently processing 2017 and 2018 data and will be posting it this spring. 

Resources

Starting a Bike to School Train

Start a bike train at your child's school!

Starting a Walking School Bus

Start a Walking School Bus at your child's school!

Tips for living car-free with Kids

Front bicycle seat

CitySmart Kids

CitySmart Logo

For more information

For more information, please contact Justin Schreiber at jschreiber@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-6012