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Elementary and middle school students throughout Long Beach are receiving special, in-school instruction on how to safely navigate city streets, courtesy of the City’s Safe Routes to School program.

More than 11,000 students have participated in the education campaign this school year. Workshops promote the rules of the road and, for fourth graders and above, “bike rodeos” that teach them how to bike safely on Long Beach streets.

The Caltrans federally-funded program provided a $500,000 grant to the City of Long Beach for the Safe Routes to School Program. By the end of the 2011-12 school year, all Long Beach Unified elementary and middle schools will receive the in-school sessions, organized and run by nationally-recognized bicycling safety experts Safe Moves, at no cost to the schools or parents.

Classes feature entertaining trainers who lead the children through small-scale road courses that include crosswalks, houses, stores, traffic signs, railroad crosses and bike lane striping, and engage older children to test their skills on a bicycle obstacle course. In addition, Safe Routes to School includes parent workshops, community events and contests for students to win bicycles and helmets.

The school safety initiative is one of several grant-funded Bike Long Beach programs focused on pedestrian and bicycle safety. A multimedia and outdoor campaign throughout Long Beach will reach drivers, cyclists and pedestrians beginning in May 2012.

“As our bicycle culture and infrastructure continues to grow, more Long Beach residents are taking their bicycles out to run errands and neighborhood trips,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “We need to educate those who haven’t taken their bikes out of their garage lately. We want to make sure that Long Beach cyclists are safe and have the confidence to navigate the miles of bike lanes and paths throughout our city.”

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY RODEOS OFFER TRAINING CLINICS FOR ALL AGES : Leave your bikes at home, or bring them with you!

To assist people of all ages to bicycle more often and safely, the City of Long Beach offers free bicycle and pedestrian safety training clinics to neighborhood and non-profit organizations upon request.

These hands-on, interactive events teach adults and children how to properly navigate city streets and bike facilities like sharrows and bike boulevards. The events also practice three keys to bicycle safety in Long Beach: Being Visible, Biking in the Same Direction as Traffic, and Obeying Signs and Signals.

Family Fun Day Rodeos are conducted by Safe Moves, a nationally renowned non-profit organization that provides all the necessary equipment, bicycles, helmets, and highly trained staff to make your community bike training clinic successful.

Safe Moves will also provide complimentary bike inspections, with minor repairs and adjustments done at no charge.

To schedule a training clinic for your group, please fill out the form below:

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