Safe Routes to Schools Program improving pedestrian and bicycling safety for Truckee Elementary Students | SierraSun.com

Safe Routes to Schools Program improving pedestrian and bicycling safety for Truckee Elementary Students

Truckee Elementary School students took part in a Pedestrian and Bicycling Safety Poster Contest, shown here are the winning contestants.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Students at Truckee Elementary can walk and bicycle more safely now, thanks to several upgrades to improve safety around the school and a month-long campaign to teach students fundamental lessons in pedestrian and cycling safety.

Thanks to a generous grant from the California Safe Routes to Schools Program, the Town of Truckee and Truckee Trails Foundation worked with Truckee Elementary administrators to implement these safety improvements, all part of International Walk to School Month.

The Safe Routes to Schools grant was written in 2009 by the Truckee Health Challenge 2013, a group representing local civic and nonprofit groups formed to support safety, physical activity and healthy eating. A top priority was to increase the connectivity of sidewalks, trails and bikeways throughout the Town. Many potential infrastructure improvements for Donner Pass Road near Truckee High and Elementary Schools were also identified as part of this effort.

Infrastructure improvements to be installed by the Town of Truckee include crosswalk delineator signs, electronic speed feedback radar signs, bike racks and push button-activated flashing lights at select crosswalks. The Town hopes vehicles will slow down, pedestrians be visible, and provide a improvement to bicycling and walking facilities.

and#8220;The Town was happy to partner with the Truckee Health Challenge 2013 Committee and other members of the community to implement such a great project that will help improve safety around the schools,and#8221; said Becky Bucar, assistant engineer at the Town of Truckee.

Pedestrian and Cycling Safety Lesson Plans, prepared by the Town of Truckee and Truckee Trails Foundation, were provided to all Truckee Elementary teachers, who spent the month of October instilling valuable safety lessons to their students. Lessons ranged from and#8220;look left-right-left before crossing the street,and#8221; to an egg-drop demonstration that reminded children to wear a helmet while cycling. and#8220;This program encouraged more of our students to walk and bike to school,and#8221; said Hien Larson, assistant principal of Truckee Elementary.

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The culmination of this month-long endeavor was a safe pedestrian and cycling poster contest at Truckee Elementary. Fifty-seven students entered the contest, with posters being judged for creativity, artistic quality and the safety message conveyed. and#8220;The overall caliber of the entries was quite impressive,and#8221; said Allison Pedley, director of the Truckee Trails Foundation and poster judge.

Fifth grader Mitzy Duarte won the contest grand prize, taking home a $100 gift certificate to Pacoand#8217;s Bike and Ski. and#8220;Mitzyand#8217;s poster really stood out to us in that it conveyed an overall message of safety when walking in and around traffic at the school,and#8221; said Pedley

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

Grand prize: Mitzy Duarte

Runners up: Arlin Cano, Rachel Garcia, Zach Larson, Isabelle Nelson, Aliza Grace Neu, Zahira Sanchez