Bike Safety Education Program currently at 13 middle schools on Staten Island will expand to serve 6,000 students at middle schools in every borough
Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today announced that the Bike Safety Education Program will expand to every borough for the 2018-19 school year, reaching 6,000 middle school students. The program launched at 13 Staten Island middle schools this year, and encourages bicycle ridership across the City by helping students learn to ride bicycles and practice safe riding habits.
The program is expanding to eight additional schools – two schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens – for the 2018-19 school year.
“The Bike Safety Education Program ensures that more students can safely access this form of exercise and transportation,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We are excited that students on Staten Island have benefited from this program this year, and we’re ready to expand our partnership with DOT and Bike New York to help 6,000 students learn to ride bikes safely.”
“We’re thrilled to announce the expansion of the Bike Safety Education Program,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We’re exposing more students to cycling as a mode of transportation that is both healthy and fun. This is a promising new initiative, and we thank the DOE and Bike New York for their ongoing partnership.”
The goal of the program is to increase safe bike ridership among students. Throughout the course of six 45-minute sessions, students learn how to select and fit a bicycle and bicycle helmet, smoothly start and stop, shift gears, and use hand signals. Students who do not yet know how to ride a bicycle receive additional support. Bike riding takes place during the school day, usually during students’ regular Physical Education classes.
The program is a partnership of the DOE, DOT and Bike New York, a non-profit organization that works to increase ridership and empower youth to lead healthy, productive lives. With DOT’s support, schools have access to one of three fleets of 50 bicycles, storage containers for the bikes, and helmets for each 7th-grade student through its Safe Streets Fund/Mayor’s Fund and a grant from the Safe Routes to School program. Bike New York provides curriculum, teacher training, and on-site support for the initial implementation at no cost to the DOE.
“Our goal has always been to empower youth to lead healthy, productive lives and transform communities through bicycling. The Bike Safety Education Program does just that,” said Kenneth J. Podziba, President/CEO of Bike New York. “We’re proud to partner with DOE and DOT as we work together to raise the next generation of bike riders in New York City.
Chancellor Carranza and Kim Wiley-Schwartz, DOT Assistant Commissioner for Education and Outreach, celebrated the Bike Safety Education Program and announced the expansion today at IS 72 Rocco Laurie on Staten Island, as part of City Hall in Your Borough. IS 72 was one of the first schools to implement the Bike Safety program in fall 2017, and has continued to use the curriculum as part of its 2018 Summer in the City programming. During the fall, spring, and summer, approximately 5,000 students have participated in the Bike Safety Education Program at middle schools across Staten Island.
“Our students and families have fully embraced this program as our school has become a community of bike riders,” said Peter Macellari, principal of IS 72 Rocco Laurie. “More students own bicycles and are riding to school and riding for fun. They enjoy the freedom that comes with providing their own transportation.”
“We’re excited that this Staten Island initiative will serve as an example and expand to eight additional middle schools across the City,” said Anthony Lodico, Staten Island Superintendent. “Our Bike Safety Education curriculum is teaching students how to safely access this fun and healthy form of exercise and transportation.”
“We are delighted to have participated in building this bike safety program to benefit students on Staten Island and across the City,” said Kevin Moran, Executive Director of Staten Island Field Support Center. The program was born out of a true spirit of collaboration between the DOE and our external partners at DOT and Bike New York. A special thanks to Council Member Borelli, all of our intermediate school principals, and Program Director Sandra Ehrlich for their support and leadership.”
“The Bike Safety Education Program has been a positive program for the students on Staten Island, so I am happy to see it expanding to the rest of New York City,” said James Oddo, Staten Island Borough President. “Bike safety is an essential lesson that needs to be taught. I hope the program encourages kids to get outside and be active, but also reminds them of the importance of putting their safety first.”
“Building a transportation network that works for everyone in our borough includes educating our youngest Brooklynites on how to ride a bike and stay safe on the roads,” said Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President. “I commend Schools Chancellor Carranza and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg for expanding the Bike Safety Education program to Brooklyn, which will empower our children to ride bikes safely and travel sustainably, while keeping physically active and healthy. We must also continue to implement safe streets infrastructure to ensure our children are not placed in harm’s way when they get on a bike.”
“Bike riding is a great way for our city’s children to get active and stay fit, and learning to do it the right way at an early age can lead to a lasting love of biking and other activities that promote improved public health outcomes,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair, Council Committee on Education. “I applaud the DOE, DOT, and Bike New York for making this fun, healthy mode of transportation safer and more accessible for New York City’s young people.”
“Bike safety education for our children is essential as we raise the next generation of cyclists,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair, Council Committee on Transportation. “I look forward to further partnering with Bike New York to expand this program in our city.”
“The Bike Safety Education Program is an innovative way to engage middle school students and encourage them to be active and exercise in a fun way,” said Council Member Joe Borelli. “I was happy to sponsor the first of these events at IS 72 on Staten Island and another at the New Springville Greenway, both of which were very popular with students and parents alike, and I look forward to more of these coming to the South Shore in the future!”
“Learning how to ride a bike involves much more than balance and coordination. Children also need to learn about helmets, hand signals and more in order to safely enjoy bicycle riding,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “I am pleased to see that DOT’s education program here on Staten Island has proven successful and, as a result, will expand to schools throughout the City. I encourage students and parents to take advantage of this important resource.”