Bicycle Safety for Cambridge Youth

Committee: Streetsmarts

Cost: $95,000

Location: Citywide

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.

Showing 11 reactions

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  • Samia Mora
    commented 2017-12-07 22:22:06 -0500
    As a cardiologist living in Cambridge and working to prevent cardiovascular disease, I endorse the mission and program of Cycle Kids. Heart healthy habits need to be taught and engrained in children at a young age, so that they can grow up with a heart healthy lifestyle that is familiar to them. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in men and women in the US and worldwide, so let us begin at an early age and teach children a healthy lifestyle. Cycle Kids does just that, kudos to this vitally important program!
  • Lauren Scopaz
    commented 2017-12-07 21:30:52 -0500
    CYCLE Kids is an amazing program that gets kids excited about staying active and being healthy and teaches them a lifelong skill that will improve not only their lives but that of the entire community. What a wonderful project to pair these 3 great programs to build awareness, education and promote safety for Cambridge. Let’s do all we can to ensure we continue to foster these positive healthy habits in children so they have the tools to bike safely.
  • barry adelman
    commented 2017-12-07 16:48:37 -0500
    Seven years ago I was introduced to Julie Idlet and her amazing organization, CYCLE Kids. CYCLE Kid’s mission is to create a healthy and active environment for children through the joy of bicycle riding. The program not only teaches kids how to ride safely but also teaches them how to eat properly and how to support other students in their common endeavors. I started meeting with Julie on a regular basis and became so enamored with CYCLE Kids that I joined the Board of Directors several years ago. I believe the lessons a child learns from his or her involvement in CYCLE Kids are invaluable and contribute greatly to each participant. I hope Cambridge will continue with the CYCLE Kids program.
  • daniel chioco
    commented 2017-12-07 16:48:33 -0500
    This is critical on so many levels. Kids need access to safe biking, which includes the opportunity to learn how to safely ride a bike. This not only impacts their health, but also impacts our environment! All cities (no matter how large or small) should prioritize transportation, and this also includes transportation for pedestrians and cyclists. We need to collectively support programs that invest in our youth so they can make healthy decisions while staying safe.
  • Sarah Kert
    commented 2017-12-07 13:41:47 -0500
    Giving children the access, ability, and education to safely bicycle in Cambridge not only benefits the city, but positively impacts their current and future health. Incorporating regular exercise is crucial for helping children to develop healthy habits. In a country that is plagued by obesity, encouraging these types of community-wide programs sets Cambridge apart in the best possible way. Investing in the physical and mental health of children now will only positively impact the future for the children themselves, but the entire community.
  • David White
    commented 2017-12-07 11:47:59 -0500
    I first became aware of Cycle Kids and its program in the Cambridge Schools in 2013. That year our law firm contributed 300 helmets to the students in the program. This was the inaugural year of Project KidSafe, a safety program started by our law firm.

    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.


    David White
    Breakstone, White & Gluck
    Boston, MA

    P.S. I am a proud member of the Board of Directors of Cycle Kids.
  • Rachel Litton
    commented 2017-12-07 11:07:19 -0500
    Individuals who ride their bikes as children are FAR more likely to continue to ride their bike as an adult. During the current obesity epidemic in the United States, it is more important than ever to make sure our children continue to ride their bikes and stay active. CYCLE Kids programs make sure that children know how to be safe on their bikes while also learning about nutrition and healthy eating. These are great life-long skills!
  • Rachel Litton
    followed this page 2017-12-07 11:07:15 -0500
  • Edward Simmons
    commented 2017-12-07 09:47:35 -0500
    As more people ride bicycles, bike safety become more important to prevent accidents and allow a normal flow of traffic which also prevents accidents. Cycle kid is an excellent effective program that should be continued.
  • Julianne Idlet
    commented 2017-12-07 09:42:35 -0500
    Bike education is critical for children growing up in a city that embraces biking as a primary mode of transportation. The CYCLE Kids program has been working with children in elementary school for 12 years to teach bike safety. We need to support these programs to keep our children safe.
  • Craig Kelley
    commented 2017-12-07 08:53:54 -0500
    Cyclekids is a fabulous organization, working in our schools and nationwide to bring the joys of safe biking and healthy eating to some of our neediest children and families. They deserve all the support we can give them.