Bicycle & Walking
For youth & families
Biking to school can be a great transportation option for children. Sometimes parents start a Bike Train, which is just like a walking school bus but on bikes. However, before kids set out by bike they should understand how and where to bike safely. The Bike Madison page has great tips for parents on teaching their children to bike, bike safety classes for children and more. In addition, many local communities offer bike rodeos and other bike education, so check with your community to find out what might be available.
Encourage your school to get on board and plan an event. Find out more and view resources for your event at the Bike to School Day website.
Wheels for Winners – This local non-profit refurbishes and recycles used bicycles and presents them youth who do 15 hours of community volunteer service or read and report on five books. They serve all of Dane County and are operated by volunteers.
Ride the Drive – Ride the Drive is a community event that turns Madison’s signature streets into a public promenade that is open to bikers, walkers, rollerbladers, and those out to share in the experience and fun atmosphere. These popular events have drawn over 20,000 families, friends, and recreation enthusiasts each. The free event draws thousands of people to ride, walk and skate on the route, enjoy live music, food, and participate in various activities, and fun stopping points along the way.
Scooters and Skateboards
Scooters and skateboards are popular and people of all ages use them as easy ways to get around town for short distance trips. Just remember that city and state rules prohibit the riding of skateboards and scooters in the road except when crossing in the crosswalk, and city ordinance prohibits skateboards on the sidewalk in a business district.
Safe Routes to School
Some area schools have Safe Routes to School programs to encourage children to walk and bike to school. The programs work to improve traffic safety for walking and biking, get kids to be more active, improve air quality near schools, and teach kids how to walk and bike safely. These programs also try to make walking and biking fun for families. The Wisconsin Bike Fed provides Safe Routes to School programming in Dane County, funded in part (80%) with federal Transportation Alternatives Program funding awarded by the Greater Madison MPO. Learn more about the Bike Fed and their youth education programs at https://wisconsinbikefed.org/what-we-do/programs/bike-walk-to-school/.
The Healthy Kids Collaborative, a coalition of more than 150 Dane County organizations and agencies including UW Health and the Greater Madison MPO, also provides support for active transportation education. Learn more about their programs at https://www.healthykidsdane.org/.
Walking to school is an inexpensive and healthy way for children to get to school, the park, the swimming pool, or their friend’s house. However, make sure your kids know safe walking skills. The National Center for Safe Routes to School has developed a guide for parents and caregivers teaching children how to walk safely.
Walk to School Day – Every year International Walk to School Day is held in early October. In Dane County Walk to School Day is combined with a week long walk and bike challenge called the Walk or Wheel Challenge. Many local schools participate to get children and parents excited about the idea of walking to school. You can get resources for planning an event and register your participation at the Walk to School Day website.