Walk Safe and Bike Driving 101 Classes
Have you seen students wearing bright yellow reflective vests and riding bicycles around town? Or have you noticed the newly painted bicycle lanes and sharrows (bicycle with arrows) along highway 160? (Thanks CDOT!) What is going on in this small town?
Highway 160 is a very busy highway with a high level of traffic year round. The average daily vehicle trips according to CDOT, is 13,342. That means there are 13,342 vehicles driving past Pagosa Springs Elementary and Middle School daily. These infrastructure challenges have contributed to unsafe walking and biking practices in the town and county. However, the good news is, the town of Pagosa Springs is working really hard to develop infrastructure projects around the elementary school that will help create more safe routes to school!
In addition, the Safe Routes To School, Retro Metro Kids program has implemented bicycle commuting and pedestrian safety curriculum in the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) afterschool programs at Pagosa Springs Elementary and Middle School. Bike Driving 101 is offered in the fall and spring semesters, due to drier weather and teaches bike commuting skills, such as navigating intersections, Colorado Bicycle Law, using hand signals, scanning, and much more. Walk Safe is offered in the winter semesters and teaches pedestrian safety skills, such as utilizing crosswalks safely, being predictable, navigating streets without crosswalks, and Colorado Pedestrian Law. The programming is designed to improve pedestrian safety through annual education and encourage safe walking and biking in Pagosa Springs. The long-term outcome of this program will result in a community wide cultural shift that improves student walking and bicycling safety habits, knowledge, and enthusiasm for these activities in Archuleta County.
Join Safe Routes To School for Walk to School Wednesdays (for elementary students) at South Park (S. 8th St.) at 7:10am. Walking and biking prevents pollution, decreases vehicle traffic around schools, encourages healthy habits, and provides you with energy for the day!
Keep an eye out for students around town navigating their communities by foot and bicycle. Give them a beep or a wave to show your support for the youth of this community!