Recognizing the importance of teaching safe cycling practices and promoting healthy transportation options, the City of Newark is partnering with several local organizations to support Bike to School Week at Downes Elementary from May 8 - 12.
The week, focused on promoting health and safety, will kick-off on Monday, May 8, with four guided bicycle rides to school, allowing students and their families to travel together from various neighborhoods. Families can participate in the rides, which will depart from Pilgrim Baptist Church, Wesleyan Church of Newark, Nottingham Swim Club and Fairfield Park. Rides will be led by parents, Mayor Polly Sierer and Newark Police officers. Following the guided rides, Mayor Sierer will deliver the Bike to School Day proclamation to students, teachers and staff at Downes Elementary.
"We have great bicycling infrastructure in Newark, but it can always be improved," said Mayor Polly Sierer. "By encouraging residents to take a closer look at their bicycling experiences, we can make great strides in the future of bicycling in Newark."
Throughout the week, parents and residents will have the opportunity to test cycling safety improvements being considered for Casho Mill Road and elsewhere in the City and share their ideas via an online survey. Residents are also encouraged to report walking and biking conditions in the area surrounding Downes Elementary, via a digital story map. Volunteers will be available outside the school on Wednesday, May 10, from 3-6 p.m. to answer questions and assist with survey completion and story map submission. The information collected will help the City of Newark better understand where residents often walk and bike, and identify needed improvements.
"We make it a point to encourage a healthy lifestyle to the students, with different physical activities throughout the year," said principal Patricia Prettyman. "Bike to School Week encourages fitness, community engagement and safe transportation practices."
Bike to School Week activities have been organized in collaboration with the City of Newark, Downes Elementary School, BikeNewark, WILMAPCO, University of Delaware's Engineers without Borders and the Institute for Public Administration, the Delaware Department of Transportation, and the Newark Bike Project. For more information on the week's events click here.