MaineDOT

News Release for October 3, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Dan Stewart, MaineDOT Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Quality Community Program Manager, dan.stewart@maine.gov, 624-3252
Sarah Cushman, Southern Maine Safe Routes to School Program, sarah@sarahcushman.com
Darcy Whittemore, Central Maine Safe Routes to School Program, saferoutes@BikeMaine.org
Jim Fisher, Eastern Maine Safe Routes to School Program, jfisher@hcpcme.org

 

Children across Maine will walk and bike to school on October 6

Hundreds of Maine children will walk or bike to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of International Walk to School Day, Wednesday, October 6. Organized events are planned at schools across the state during the week of October 4-8, and some schools will continue holding events throughout the fall.

Parents, teachers and volunteers have organized events such as “walking school buses” (children walking under adult supervision) and “bike trains” (groups bicycling under adult supervision). Participating schools are located from North Berwick to Fort Kent and Ellsworth to Greenville, as well as many points in between.

The Maine’s Safe Routes to School program is managed by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The program works with communities and schools throughout the State on encouragement activities, school travel planning, and safety improvements. The program has been recognized as a national model for keeping children safe from traffic dangers while walking and bicycling to school.

Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 150 schools from York to Aroostook counties have become involved. The program has provided funding to more than 30 communities for infrastructure improvements to make walking and biking safer. “Enabling and encouraging safe walking and biking to school is important for transportation, health, and safety in communities throughout the State, stated MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole.

Funded by the federal government, the Safe Routes to School program helps to improve safety for walking and biking, and encourages active and healthy lifestyles, which can help address Maine’s high childhood obesity rate. Walk and Bike to School programs increase safety, ease traffic congestion, boost academic performance, improve classroom behavior, decrease childhood respiratory events due to improved air quality and save school districts money on busing costs.

The program has three regional coordinators: Sarah Cushman (sarah@sarahcushman.com) in southern Maine, Darcy Whittemore (saferoutes@BikeMaine.org) in the central part, northern and midcoast area of the state and Jim Fisher (jfisher@hcpcme.org) in eastern Maine. For more information or details about the October 6 events, please e-mail them or call 207-623-4511.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has been working since 1992 to make Maine a better place to bicycle. The coalition advocates for Maine cyclists at the Legislature and in Washington, D.C., teaches bicycle safety to thousands of Maine schoolchildren each year, partners with state agencies on a Share the Road media campaign and serves as a resource on local bicycling issues.

Editor’s Note: Below you will find a list of communities that are having walk and bike to school events

Maine Safe Routes to School Program Walk & Bike to School Events, Fall 2010

Biddeford Intermediate School and Biddeford Middle School – Monthly Walk & Bike to School Days

Brunswick, Longfellow Elementary School, Monthly Walk & Bike to School Days all fall

Cutler, Bay Ridge Elementary – Walk or Ride to School Days the week of Oct. 4

Eagle Lake Elementary School - Walk & Bike to School Event on Oct. 6

Ellsworth Elementary & Middle Schools – Walk & Bike to School Day on Oct. 6

Falmouth, Plummer-Motz and Lunt Elementary School - "Footloose Fridays" Walk to School events all fall

Fort Kent Elementary & Community High Schools - Walk and Bike to School Event on Oct. 6

Greenville, Nickerson Elementary School – Walk & Bike to School Week, Oct. 4 - 7

Hallowell, Hall-Dale Elementary School - Weekly Walking Wednesdays this fall

Hampden, Weatherbee & McGraw Schools – Walking School Bus, Oct. 4 – 7

Howland, Hichborn Middle School – 1 Mile Run at School, Oct. 8

Norridgewock, Mill Stream Elementary School – Weekly Walking Wednesday s this fall

North Berwick Primary School & Hurd School – Walk to School Day on Oct. 6

Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Elementary School, Walk to School Day on

Portland, Fred P Hall School, Year-long Walk & Bike to School Days the 1st Wednesday of the month

Scarborough, Pleasant Hill School – Weekly Walk & Bike to School Days this fall

South Berwick, Marshwood Great Works School – Twice monthly Walk & Bike to School Days thru the fall

St. Francis Elementary School - Walk & Bike to School Event on Oct. 6

Vinalhaven Elementary School, Walk & Bike to School Week, Oct. 4 - 8

Wallagrass Elementary School - Walk & Bike to School Event on Oct. 6

Westbrook, Saccarappa School & Canal Schools – Weekly Walk & Bike to School Fridays in October

Windham, Windham Primary School, Walk to School Day on Oct. 15

Winslow Elementary School – Walk at School Event, Oct. 6

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