Based on feedback from Solano County cities and schools, the Solano SR2S Program launched the SR2S Micro-Grant Pilot Program in fiscal year 2019-2020 to fund small-scale bike and pedestrian projects and programs that encourage walking and biking and improve safety around schools.
The Pilot Program funded 14 projects in 2020, including radar feedback signs, bike and scooter racks, safety signage and equipment, high visibility crosswalk improvements, bike corral fencing and scooter storage, and walking and biking incentives. (See projects below).
Building on the program’s success, SR2S has secured $100,000 in funding for Cycle 2 of the Micro-Grant Program. Grants are available to Solano County cities, school districts, schools and community-based organizations. The application period has closed. Check back in September for a list of awarded projects for Cycle 2!
For more information, contact Karin Bloesch, SR2S Senior Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or 707-399-3217.
Joe Henderson Elementary School PTO applied for funding to improve the crossing at Hastings and Sweetbrier. Funding was awarded for the purchase of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB), these warning lights aid in alerting drivers to the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalk. This project was completed in February 2021, concurrently with additional improvements as part of a larger Safe Routes to School Project. The additional improvements included widening the sidewalk north of the driveway, ADA curb ramps and accessibility.
Riverview Middle School received funding to construct a fenced bike corral to keep students’ bikes and scooters safe during the school day. (click on photo to view larger).
Students’ comments on the project: Blake – I always ride my bike. It’s a lot faster and cheaper and works better for my family. My parents are really busy. It’s an easier way for me to get to school on my own. It makes me feel safer putting my bike in there. I left my bike accidentally at school overnight last year and it was stolen. So I’m glad it will be locked up now. I may ride my skateboard now too.
Levi – I usually take the bus, but with coronavirus, it will be easier to take my long board or bike. I’m always worried about it being taken from school. The gated area will be locked. That’s nice.
Browns Valley Elementary PTO was awarded funding to purchase 4 scooter racks for students that ride to school. These racks were purchased in the Spring of 2021 and were installed a week prior to students returning to in person classes. Two racks were installed by the lower grade classrooms and two were installed by the upper grade classes. This placement allows students to ride to school and park their scooters close to their classrooms.
Ellie Steed, in the 2nd grade says, “Last year, if I rode my scooter I had to lay it on the ground by the bike racks. I like the little scooter racks because now all the second graders can park by our class and it’s easier to ride your scooter to school.”
Kairos Public Schools
Kairos Public Schools (Vacaville) received safety equipment for their existing drop-off an pick-up program including high visibility signage for crosswalks around the school. The school will be using incentives received for a new walking program and pedometers for use in PE classes.
Radar Feedback Signs
The City of Vacaville completed the installation of 5 Radar Feedback Signs at Browns Valley, Callison, and Cambridge Elementary schools in early August 2020. (click on photo to view larger)
Vaca Pena Middle School
Vaca Pena Middle School in Vacaville completed the installation of locking scooter/skateboard racks and bicycle tire pump, encouraging more students to ride to school. “With our ever changing world and families with challenging work schedules, now more than ever I believe that our students will be utilizing bikes, scooters and skateboards to attend school once we begin our in-person learning in the upcoming weeks. “ – Principal C. Moe
Sierra Vista K-8 School
Sierra Vista received walk and bike incentive items to support their Healthy Sierra Vista initiative when students return to campus “Creating a healthy environment for all the students at our school is exactly what we, as a PTC, are aiming to do.” – Sierra Vista K-8 PTC President
Dan Mini Elementary and Everest Academy received safety equipment for high traffic Drop-off and Pick-up times.
Dan Mini Elementary also received walking program incentives and bike safety equipment to help students get to school safely by skipping the car ride, these items included bike helmets, bike locks, and small bike repair kits.
A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking to or from school with an adult. Trained volunteers or school staff meet the children at a specific location and time and supervise them along the route. Parents are welcome to drop their child off at a Walking School Bus “stop” along the route or walk with their children and the group to school.
A Walk or Wheel (WOW) Day is an ongoing, school-wide event your school can schedule weekly or monthly to encourage students to walk or wheel (by bike, scooter, or skateboard) to school. Schools can market the event as “Walk or Wheel (WOW) Day”, “Walking Wednesday”, or “Fit Friday”. Whatever you call it, it’s all good!
These schools participate with weekly or monthly WOW programs.
A Bike Rodeo is a fun, active event for elementary students to learn biking and safety skills in a safe and comfortable environment. Safe Routes to School staff sets up various agility courses on school grounds for students to practice important skills necessary to ride a bike safely and confidently. Staff also inspects students’ bikes and makes sure their bike helmets fit them properly.
Kindergarten through 6th grade students must be able to ride a bike without assistance to participate. Students should bring their own bike and helmet to the Bike Rodeo, but bikes and helmets can be provided, if needed. Bike Rodeos last 1-2 hours depending on the number of participants. Schools are required to provide 6-10 volunteers to help the event run smoothly.
For more information or to schedule a Bike Rodeo at your school, contact the Safe Routes to School program at (707) 399-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bay Area Bike Mobile provides students with free hands-on bike repair at your school. The Bike Mobile staff shows students how to perform easy maintenance on their bikes, while fixing flat tires, adjusting bike seats and replacing worn brakes. The Bike Mobile staff is on site for 3 hours and fixes bikes on a first-come, first-served basis.
This year the SR2S Program received 198 entries from 18 schools in Solano County. Thank you to the schools and teachers that encouraged their students to participate in our 5th Annual Safe Routes to School Poster Contest.
Students in grades K-12 were asked to design a poster using one of the following safety messages:
Always wear a helmet when riding your bike or scooter.
Cross the street at the crosswalk.
Always make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.
Look before your cross: left, right, left again.
Don’t talk or text on your phone when crossing the street (put those headphones away too).
The winners have been chosen and their artwork will be featured in a Safe Routes to School 2020 calendar! The First Place winner in each category will also receive a gift certificate to a local bike shop.
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
First Place: Julia Miller, Cordelia Hills Elementary
Second Place: Travis Santiago, Sierra Vista K-8
Third Place: Lyla Stubbendorff, Foxboro Elementary
Fourth Place: Amaya Johnson, Foxboro Elementary
3rd – 5th Grade
First Place: Robert Miller, Cordelia Hills Elementary
Second Place: Keira Call, Robert Semple Elementary
Third Place: Jaimyah Jenkins, Crescent Elementary
Fourth Place: Emma Eastlund, Foxboro Elementary
6th – 8th Grade
First Place: Sarosh Addanki, Green Valley Middle School
Second Place: Grace Miller, Green Valley Middle School
Third Place: Corey Liew, Dan O Root Health & Wellness Academy
Fourth Place: Anika Lum, Grange Middle School
9th – 12th Grade
First Place: Lauren Miller, Visions in Education
Bike to School Day 2020 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Solano SR2S Program stays ready to support our schools when they return to their campus.
Check out ourSafe Routes “at home”resources page for videos, ideas and activities to support biking in your neighborhood or on Solano County trails. Remember to maintain 6 foot physical distancing when exercising and on any trails.
Each May, students across Solano County strap on their helmets, hop on their bikes and pedal to school on National Bike to School Day, as part of National Bike Month. The Solano Safe Routes to School program sponsored the first event in 2013 and participation continues to grow. In 2019, 28 schools from all 7 school districts in all 7 cities in the county participated.
Each October, students throughout Solano County, the nation and the world are encouraged make the effort to get out of the car and walk to school on International Walk to School Day.
Due to COVID-19 and distance learning last school year, Walk to School Day 2020 was cancelled. Now that students have returned to campuses Solano SR2S is looking forward to bringing back this yearly celebration, while adhering to COVID safety protocols.
In years past, Walk to School Day has been a great success and positive experience for our school communities. We are hoping to achieve those same results this year while adhering to safety guidelines and precautions. To help make it as safe as possible we can provide suggestions to help you organize your event, incentives for participants, and assist you with any questions you may have.
CONTACT US if you are interested in hosting a “Covid-friendly” Walk to School Day at your school, and we will work with you to plan a safe and fun event for your school.
Below are some ideas to help your school celebrate and help keep students and staff safe:
Post volunteers or staff at locations near the school to hand out incentives as students walk to school.
Have volunteers hand out tickets that may be redeemed within the classroom for incentives.
Expand the “Day” into a week-long challenge, this can help spread out participation over several days. Then hold a raffle at the end of the week for students that participated.
Top 10 Bike Rides in Solano County – Remember to maintain physical distancing (6 feet) when travelling in the community and on trails. Check before you go – due to Covid 19 precautions, some Solano County Parks may be closed.
Top 10 Walks and Hikes in Solano County – Remember to maintain physical distancing (6 feet) when walking in the community and on Solano County trails.Check before you go – due to Covid 19 precautions some Solano County Parks may be closed.
CA Pedestrian and Bike Safety Curriculum (Grades 4-5) CA SR2S Technical Resource Center Includes lessons on the importance of physical activity(PE Focused), Health Benefits (Science Focused), Environmental Impact of Walking and Bicycling, Rules of the Road, Pedestrian Safety.
Safety isn’t the only reason to wear a helmet, it’s also the law in California. Youth under 18 years of age must wear a helmet when riding a bike. The Bike Helmet Fitting and Education program provides bike helmets to students with an economic need and teaches why it’s important to wear a helmet and other bike safety tips. Groups of 4-6 students are each properly fitted with a new helmet at their school (no more than 30 students per event).
To schedule a helmet fitting at your school, contact the Safe Routes to School Program at (707) 399-3222 or email@example.com.
"Light the Way: A Bicycle Safety Musical" Theater Production
“Light the Way: A Bicycle Safety Musical” is a 35-minute assembly provided by the Bike City Theatre Company that teaches elementary school children about biking safety. Set in 1895, the show features the adventures of Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride around the world. While traveling to London, Spain, Saigon and Japan, Annie makes friends with historic figures that help guide her safely on her journey.
The SR2S program offers this show free of charge to schools in Solano County. For more information or to book a show, call the SR2S program at (707) 399-3222. Event dates are limited and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
In 2017, Solano Safe Routes to School (SR2S) launched the Youth Engagement Pilot Program to support high school aged youth in Solano County.
Since the SR2S Program has traditionally focused on supporting elementary school youth, this Youth Engagement Program was designed to:
increase high school youth leadership and involvement in Safe Routes to School activities countywide and;
engage in youth-led projects that can lead to sustainable solutions in improving active transportation and safety, reducing carbon emissions and/or addressing Safe Routes to School goals such as increasing walking, biking or physical activity.
Participating sites will be asked to engage in a YPAR (Youth-Led Participatory Action Research) or Photovoice Project following an easy-to-follow curriculum provided to them by SR2S. The SR2S team will work with participants to build capacity and skills for young people and their adult counterparts that will potentially increase youth-led activities and promotion of the Safe Routes to School program countywide.