With sunny days and cool evenings, many Turlockers are beginning to spend more time outdoors. Although going on bike rides can be a fun way for families and friends to enjoy the warmer weather, riding a bicycle around Turlock can often be an unsafe and treacherous task.
As the City of Turlock continues developing a new Active Transportation Plan that seeks to improve bicycle lanes throughout the community, city staff and consultants are also working together to make biking to school a safer option for Turlock students, planning multiple new bike routes to every elementary, junior high and high school campus.
In addition to conducting “Safe Routes to School” audits at each Turlock school, the City of Turlock and consultant group Alta Planning and Design will host four public Bike Skills Rodeos next week at Julien, Earl, Crowell and Medeiros elementary schools. During the 90-minute workshops, trained professionals will teach students bicycling skills and how to bike safely in the community.
Throughout next week, planners and engineers from Alta Planning and Design, who specialize in creating active communities focused on walking and bicycling, will visit 11 school campuses throughout Turlock to observe student arrival and drop-off.
“This will help us identify challenges on the surrounding street network that may be inhibiting kids from walking and biking to school,” said John Lieswyn of Alta Planning and Design, who will be working with others to conduct the one-hour audits at approximately 30 minutes before the morning and afternoon school bells. “We’d like to meet with someone at each school who can share with us any known problem areas or past issues we can help address.”
Each Bike Skills Rodeo is free to attend and will begin immediately after school at 3:15 p.m. on Monday at Julien Elementary, Tuesday at Earl Elementary, and Thursday at Medeiros Elementary, and at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday at Crowell Elementary. All students and members of the community are welcome to attend. To participate in the rodeo, children must bring their own bicycle and helmet.
To learn more about the Bike Skills Rodeos being held next week, or to help create safer bike routes in Turlock by completing the City’s online survey gathering information from Turlock residents about their experiences biking and walking around town, visit www.bikewalkforturlock.com.