Bikes on Sidewalks
Remind students that they are allowed to bike on sidewalks, if this feels safer to get to and from schools, making sure to yield to walkers and making eye contact with motorists at driveways and crosswalks. Motorists aren't looking for bikes crossing driveways at top of shopping plaza parking lots so be extra cautious here. Bikes are not allowed on sidewalks along portions of Main St by the library and Merchants Row by Battell block where shops and pedestrians are concentrated during business hours (9 to 5). During these hours students should walk their bikes on these portions of Main St and Merchants Row. Explain that the "walk bikes on sidewalks" stencils indicate the zone for where to walk their bikes. If they want to ride their bikes down Main St during business hours then they should claim the lane. That is what is meant by the stencils on the road that say "start" and "end" with "sharrows" in the street in between them along Main St.
Thank students who use their school buses and Tri-Valley Transit buses and, if possible, walk to their bus stops rather than have families drive them to these stops.
SLOW DOWN/ MAKE EYE CONTACT. Here’s what Middlebury Safe Routes teaches.
Pedestrians should use sidewalks, cross at crosswalks, wait for signals, use crosswalk safety flags & rapid flashing LED beacon lights to signal intent to cross (look for these at Cross/ S Pleasant St intersection by high school & Court/N Pleasant St by Middlebury Inn). These lights improve your visibility significantly. Always look first & make eye contact with motorists before crossing. While motorists by state law must stop for individuals in designated crosswalks, individuals have an obligation to look for approaching vehicles first and signal their intent to cross and use common sense to wait for fast approaching vehicles to pass first. Cyclists ride with traffic bearing as far right as practicable, yield to pedestrians, stop at stop signs, signal turns with arms, use lights/reflectors at night. Take lane when needed, such as when riding next to parked cars or when storm drains obstruct right portion of lane or when negotiating a left turn. Drivers slow down for, yield to walkers & cyclists, don’t text & drive, SLOW DOWN FOR SAFER TOWN! Walkers hit by cars at 40 mph have 15% survival rate while those hit at 20 mph have 85% chance of survival.
Vermont Energy Education Transportation Poster
See the climate impact of getting to school in this cool new poster
Safe Routes Middlebury Middlebury has been recognized as a platinum level partner--the highest level-- in Safe Routes to School VT, which encourages walking and biking to school regularly and safely. Students who walk and bike to school tend to arrive ready to learn and be healthier overall. Fewer children being driven to school reduces car congestion and improves air quality. We monitor traffic patterns and student travel behavior, plan activities to teach bike skills and rules of the road, and recommend improvements to roads, parking lots, drop offs, sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic lights, signage, bus routes, bike routes, bike racks, and more as defined in the Middlebury School Transportation Plan. For more information or to help us update our plan, contact Middlebury Safe Routes to School Coordinator Erik Remsen at erik.r...@gmail.com.