Spokane Area Students Learn How to Bike Safely
Keep your eyes out for a string of bicyclists practicing left turns, riding on neighborhood streets, and looking at intersections around schools.

Physical education classes for 5th through 8th graders will look different this spring. Middle school students in 6 school districts will be learning how to walk and ride a bike in traffic safely thanks to a Safe Routes to School grant and training from the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Feet First.

“They’re learning driver’s education for biking and walking,” says Seth Schromen-Wawrin, training coordinator for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. “It helps young teens stay safe when they are starting to gain more freedom and mobility.”

Students learn skills to help them safely bike and walk to school and around their neighborhood. Some of the skills taught include bike handling skills, planning safe walking routes and assessing risks, and safely and legally riding in intersections.

Cheney, Medical Lake, Reardan-Edwall, Tekoa, and West Valley School Districts are all taking part in this program.

During the last school year, PE teachers spent 2 days learning how to teach bike and pedestrian safety. “It opened up my eyes and will greatly keep kids safe and have fun” one participant commented after the training.

This is part of a statewide program to teach bike and pedestrian safety skills to middle school students. Funded by the Federal Highway Administration, it is a cooperative effort through the Washington Department of Transportation and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Across the state, 24 school districts are taking part in this project. The districts range from cities to towns to rural communities. These districts received training and funding to purchase teaching equipment including a class set of bikes.