Short Description: Access to bicycle safety equipment for youth will enable more people to enjoy this healthy activity. It will also relieve some of the stress on public transportation, while decreasing the city’s carbon and toxic gas emissions.
Long Description: The number of bicyclists riding through Cambridge has increased dramatically, and continues to rise. As the number of riders increase, many riders are using bicycles for many, if not all, their everyday activities and chores - giving children rides to school, grocery shopping, commuting to work.
This project will expand Cambridge’s outreach to young people riding bicycles around our neighborhoods, and help these vulnerable road users access helmets, bells, lights, vests, and locks. Reaching and educating young people about bicycling is critical to influencing the city’s bicycling culture and promoting safety.
This project will impact three programs in Cambridge that help youth:
Cycle Kids (500 kids):
- Cycle Kids provides bike education program for 4th and 5th graders.
- Participatory Budgeting will fund 500 helmets for this program.
Safe Routes to School (500 kids):
- Safe Routes to School (SRTS) aims to increase the number of students who get to and from school by walking or biking.
- This project will give every 6th grader in SRTS a helmet, bell, light, and U-lock.
Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (1,000 kids):
- This project will provide helmets, lights, bells, and vests to all Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) employees.
- This would be paired with bicycle education workshops for all MSYEP employees.
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Educating children about cycling, cycling safety, and fitness could not be more important. The Cycle Kids curriculum is comprehensive. Speaking with the staff at the school, I was amazed by their enthusiasm for the program. On the day we visited, the kids were preparing for one of their first outside rides and were really excited.
Our law firm, Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston, is prepared to support the Cycle Kids curriculum in the coming year, and would like to find a way to contribute to the purchase or donation of the helmets if the program is continued.
There are so many reasons that we need to continue to educate children so they can and will ride their bicycles safely. It is a life-long skill that will translate into fitness, health and sensible communities. I hope the City will continue the curriculum.
Thank you for your consideration.
Breakstone, White & Gluck
P.S. I am a proud member of the Board of Directors of Cycle Kids.