Cover photo showing children and bicyclesFHWA Good Practices Guide
for Bicycle Safety Education


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United Stated Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. The contents of this document do not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names may appear in this document only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

Publication number: FHWA-SA-02-001
HSA-4/30-02 (5M)QE

Table of Contents

Background and Purpose [Table of Contents]

In 1998, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened a steering group of bicycle safety experts and developed the National Bicycle Safety Education Curriculum. This Curriculum lists several bicycle safety education topics and target audiences – cyclists of different ages and abilities, as well as motorists. A Resource Catalog was developed which identifies and describes bicycle safety education programs that address these curriculum topics and target audiences. This Resource Catalog has been converted to a searchable, online database that is available at the following internet address:

The FHWA has determined that good practices can be drawn from some of the educational resources identified in the resource catalog/database. The FHWA conducted in-depth interviews with bicycle safety educators, developed case studies, and summarized the results as good practices. The Good Practices Guide will be useful to those who plan to develop bicycle safety education programs, as well as those who are looking for the ideal existing bicycle safety program to use in their community.

The purpose of the Good Practices Guide is to serve as an informational resource for educators and other interested professionals in planning and developing bicycle safety education programs. The Guide examines 15 existing bicycle safety education programs in the United States and one from Canada.

The FHWA would like to acknowledge the assistance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the development of this document. FHWA and NHTSA developed a formal partnership in 1998 to produce and oversee implementation of an intermodal plan to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, promote bicycling and walking as alternative modes of transportation, and support ongoing livability initiatives.

Structure of the Good Practices Guide [Table of Contents]

The Good Practices Guide consists of three primary sections: Case Studies, Good Practices, and Conclusion.

Case Studies [Table of Contents]

A list of bicycle safety program sponsors was identified as potential interviewees. This list was developed with the assistance of FHWA, NHTSA, the League of American Bicyclists, and individual bicycle safety experts. Program sponsors were then contacted and interviewed using a pre-established set of questions. Sixteen interviews were developed into case studies.

Interview Method [Table of Contents]

During the interviews, various bicycle-related topics were emphasized. However, all interviews included the following questions:

Case Studies Quick Reference [Table of Contents]

Sixteen case studies of bicycle safety programs are organized under the following three headings:

Elementary, Middle, and/or High School Age Programs: [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]
BikeEd Hawaii One week (five 45-minute sessions) on-bike program for fourth grade students
Bicycle Safety Education Program (BSE) One-hour classroom presentation for third through fifth grade students
BIPED 45-minute classroom presentation for kindergarten through fifth grade students
Bicycle Safety and Awareness Program Seven- to ten-hour on-bike program for fourth through seventh grade students
Kids on Bikes Two-hour classroom/on-bike program for elementary school-age children
After School Bike Club Eight 90 minute on-bike sessions for middle school-age children
Bike Lesson and Safety Training Program (BLAST) Two-hour classroom/on-bike program for elementary, middle school, and high school-age students
Earn a Bike and Ride Club 18 hours working in program bicycle shop, six hours working on own bicycle, and 20 hours of safety instruction (ten weeks, two hours per week) for upper-elementary-age through high school-age youths
Sprockids Flexible ten-week program (two one-hour sessions per week) for elementary through high school-age students

Adult Programs:
[Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]

Effective Cycling/Road I 20 hours (five four-hour sessions) on-bike program for adults (primarily) and teenagers

Train-the-Trainer Programs: [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]
Texas SuperCyclist Project (Instructor Training) One-day workshop instructing bicycle safety for teachers of fourth and fifth grades
Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program One- to two-day workshops for school teachers and community trainers to serve as instructors for grades K-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and driver’s education students
Helmet Your Brain – Avoid the Pain© Helmet Education Program 90-minute program for teachers of primary, elementary, and middle school children
Nevada Elementary Traffic Safety Program Instructor Course Two-day workshop for law enforcement officers, teachers, and other community volunteers who teach bicycle safety to children of any age
Teaching Safe Bicycling (TSB) One-day workshop for bicycle safety instructors, including police officers, school teachers and others who instruct elementary and middle school students
Home to School Safe Travel for Children (Train-the-Trainer course) Two-day workshop for teachers, police officers, fire department staff, and other professionals who teach bicycle and pedestrian safety to children grades K-5

Elementary, Middle, and/or High School-Age Programs [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]

The Earn a Bike program has three requirements. The first requirement is for the participant to spend 18 hours assisting in the program’s commercial/educational Recycle a Bike store. This is a fully functional retail store that repairs donated bicycles and sells them to the public. The participant learns bicycle repair and business skills. The participant may also spend six out of the 18 hours doing a pre-approved outside community service.

The second requirement is for the participant to spend six hours repairing the recycled bicycle that will be given to him or her. The repaired bicycle must pass a safety inspection by the staff.

The third requirement is for the participant to take a 20-hour course (ten weeks, two hours per week) that consists of the following four lesson topics:

The participant takes ownership of the bicycle after completing the above four requirements.

Another component of the Recycle a Bike program is Ride Club. Ride Club consists of eight weekly organized bicycle rides, usually during the summer. Often, the bicycle ride destinations are community service centers that provide opportunities for discussion about community service. For example, after a ride to a sculpture park that recycles objects, a discussion is held about recycling. The first session is spent inspecting bikes for safety, followed up with a short ride on a green way (not on streets) – five miles for pre-teens and eight miles for teens. During each ride, breaks are taken to talk about and demonstrate educational lessons, such as bicycle safety practices. The last ride is a longer one to a "special" destination, such as the beach. The rides are led by paid staff and assisted by volunteers.

Children demonstrate safe biking skills in a bike rodeo course.At some point during Ride Club, a bicycle rodeo is set up where the children must demonstrate the safe biking skills they have learned, such as riding in a straight line, turning, following directions in a group ride, and balancing (during a slow bicycle “race”). In addition, a written true/false quiz must be passed. (Note that this is not always used because some of the immigrant population lack English reading skills.) After successful completion of the Ride Club, the children receive a laminated Ride Club license that is honored at local bicycle stores for discounted purchases of bicycle-related equipment.

The Recycle a Bike program in New York City is one of 100 organizations across the United States that are part of the Youth Bicycle Education Network, an organization dedicated to promoting Earn a Bike programs. To learn more about the Youth Bicycle Education Network, contact Charles Hammond at: e-mail or telephone 317-253-3632.

Evaluation: The only measure of success is completion of the programs by the participants. As of the summer of 2001, nearly 4,000 youths had completed the program.

Funding: First-year funding was $25,000 from the New York City Department of Sanitation (because of the recycling component). Additional monies are received through donations from cycling organizations, as well as grants from small foundations. In addition, funding is provided through bicycle sales and repairs from the Recycle a Bike store.

Publicity: Many participants learn about the program through the Web site ( In addition, word-of-mouth networking has been effective through bicycle shops. Public access TV has also been used, as well as the distribution of promotional T-shirts.

Successes: This program is based on experiential learning through hands-on activities: repairing and riding bicycles. Its philosophy is to have children participate in a fun activity, through which a variety of skills are learned. Other benefits for participants are community service education and skills in operating a business, repairing bicycles, overcoming the psychological barriers of geography, and riding bicycle safely. The program trains approximately 500 children annually.

Challenges: There has not been enough money to staff all events. Volunteers are not expected to be fully accountable for all aspects of the program. Events should be led by paid staff who can be fully accountable, then supplemented with volunteers.

Liability is always an issue. Parental waivers should be included. Nonetheless, this will not keep a parent from suing in case of an accident.

Safe bicycles are not always brought to Ride Club by participants. Staff must be sure that any bicycle used in an activity is inspected and determined to be safe to ride. Having a fleet of safe bicycles available for participants to use is one solution to this problem.

Adult Programs [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]

Train-the-Trainer Programs [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]

Planning Your Program [Table of Contents]

This section describes lessons that can be learned from the bicycle safety education programs surveyed in the previous section. The Planning Your Program section is divided into subsections that cover the following topics:

Detailed information about each topic is presented in the following subsections.

Funding Your Program [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Funding is the lifeblood of a bicycle safety education program. The more dependent a program is on outside funding sources, the less likely the program will be sustained during the long term. Unfortunately, most bicycle safety programs are dependent upon outside sources of funding. This being the case, program staff must be creative about obtaining funding for development purposes, and must dedicate themselves to obtaining additional funding on a regular basis to sustain the program over succeeding years.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Section 402 Highway Safety funds are usually available through the State Department of Transportation or State Governor's Highway Safety Representative. The pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator for each state has information on how to apply for Section 402 funds. (To locate the pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator for your state, refer to These U.S. DOT funds are made available to states for traffic safety projects. (For more information on U.S. DOT bicycle and pedestrian funding programs, refer to Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of Federal Transportation Legislation on the internet at Generally, these funds are available for the first one to three years of a program’s life and can be used for development costs and possibly for equipment purchasing costs. Often, Section 402 funds are not sufficient to fully implement the program, depending upon its budgetary needs. Therefore, depending on the size of the program, additional funding may be required, even for developmental purposes.

Funding is also available from the Federal Transportation Enhancements Program for the provision of safety and educational activities for the pedestrians and bicyclists. The State Department of Transportation bicycle/pedestrian coordinators can be contacted for more information.

Ten of the sixteen programs surveyed obtained start-up grants from the Section 402 program. All of the programs surveyed, whether or not they obtained Section 402 funds, have required or will require additional funding sources. (The exception is the Effective Cycling Road I course run by the Massachusetts Bicycle Council, which is self-sustaining. The $60 student fee covers all instructor costs.)

Of the rest of the programs surveyed, only the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program has obtained stable funding that is not dependent on outside sources. After several years of temporary Section 402 funds that had to be reapplied for annually, the Florida Department of Transportation instituted funding for the program as part of its standard annual training budget. The Director’s position was also created as a University of Florida faculty position. However, the Florida program is the exception; the vast majority of bicycle safety programs must look to outside sources for funding.

Sample Funding Sources [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Below is a sample list of the funding sources that some of the surveyed bicycle safety education programs have acquired:

This variety of sources illustrates how important creativity is when identifying potential funding sources.

Tips for Finding and Preparing Grants [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Below are some general tips on how to locate potential grant source organizations and prepare for the grant application process.

  1. Identify key topic or program areas related to your program (for example, transportation, sports, recreation, child injury prevention). Then identify organizations that serve those program areas (for example, state department of transportation, auto manufacturers, bicycle manufacturers, bicycle stores, sports organizations, hospitals, and insurance companies).

  2. Prepare information that will be used in a proposal or presentation.
    1. State the problem. Prepare a description of the problem that your bicycle safety program will address. Use real, quantitative data. For example, cite numbers of bicycle-related injuries and deaths. (National fatality and injury data is available at
    2. Describe specifically how your program relates to the program areas and interests of each organization that you identified in Step A..
    3. State your solution to the problem. Describe the bicycle safety education program, its overall goal, and write a list of objectives. Use the "SMART" rule of thumb to write objectives. Objectives should be:
      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Attainable
      • Realistic
      • Time-bound
    4. State specifically how the program will meet each objective.
    5. Describe the evaluation methods for measuring how successful the program is at attaining the stated objectives. The methods should be designed to produce quantitative data. Most funding organizations prefer that quantitative data be included in grant proposals.
    6. Describe why the proposed program staff are qualified to carry out the program. Prepare staff resumes.
    7. Develop the program budget in detail.

  3. Contact the potential funding source organizations that you identified in Step A. Many organizations will have public relations staff that oversee grant programs. Even a small organization that generally does not have a grant program may be a potential funding source. If you have prepared your information, as described in Step B above, you may be able to convince such an organization that your program and its mission are a worthwhile investment.

  4. Sustain the program over the long term – this can be challenging. A key to getting continued support is “reinventing" the program as new funding cycles approach. In other words, over time, the program should evolve in phases. All the ideas for the program should not be stated in the same grant proposal. Be prepared to shift the focus of your program or expand it to involve other partner organizations.

Bicycle Safety Education in Public Schools [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

A common theme among most bicycle safety education programs surveyed for this guide is that they target youths in schools. For example, of the sixteen programs surveyed, twelve programs target youths at schools or, through instructor training, prepare instructors who will teach youths at schools. Of the thirteen programs targeting school youths, twelve contain lessons for elementary school children, six contain lessons for middle-school children, and four contain materials for high school youths. (Most of these programs have more than one audience.) Keep in mind that bicycle safety curricula should be developmentally appropriate. Because schools have the organizational infrastructure in place, many bicycle safety educators believe that public schools are a natural venue for bicycle safety education. Two of the sixteen programs surveyed are not school-based, but have age-appropriate lessons for elementary, middle, and high school age youths.

A second common theme is that bicycle (and pedestrian) safety education should be incorporated into the public school curriculum from early elementary grades through high school as a continuous educational experience that promotes biking and walking as healthy, safe, lifelong activities.

However, competition for the time and attention of teachers overburdened by requirements of other high-visibility academic curricula (like math, English, and science) makes it difficult to convince some school administrators of the need for bicycle safety in schools. This provides the rationale for creating programs like bicycle riding clubs and after-school clubs, such as the After School Bike Club in the City of Madison, Wisconsin and the Ride Club that’s part of the Recycle a Bike program in New York City. These non-school-based programs can also be advantageous because they are not restricted to narrow curriculum topics, methods, or time limitations of a typical school. (Refer to Alternative Venues and Subjects).

Many programs have been successful in convincing school administrators that they need to implement a bicycle safety program. Following are some reasons that various program staff have successfully offered as rationale for bringing bicycle safety into public schools:

Refer to Alternative Venues and Subjects for examples of progressive bicycle education programs that promote educational lessons beyond traditional bicycle safety.

Developing Partnerships [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Developing partnerships with other organizations has proved useful for promoting, among other things, the acceptance of bicycle safety programs into public schools. For example, an elementary school bicycle safety program called BIPED was developed in 1988 as a successful collaboration between two organizations. The White Clay Bicycle Club in Wilmington, Delaware, created BIPED, then approached the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) 4-H organization to help implement it. (CES is part of the University of Delaware’s Department of Agriculture.) CES had already instituted school programs locally and had established comfortable and trusting working relationships with several local public schools. BIPED benefited from CES’s credibility in the school community and was immediately embraced by schools.

CES handles all promotional and logistical aspects of the program, including sending announcement letters to schools, scheduling classes, and pre-class site visits to distribute materials. Also, CES has had numerous years of experience in fundraising and was able to secure grant money for BIPED from several sources.

Partnering with other school-affiliated organizations such as parent teacher associations (PTAs) will help a program’s visibility and credibility with schools as well as attract attention from students’ parents. Parental support of the SuperCyclist program in Texas is, in large part, due to its affiliation with PTAs and other credible organizations such as the Texas Medical Association. This has helped its acceptance into many school districts across Texas. As a result of these relationships, vast student populations are becoming available for participation in the SuperCyclist program.

While partnering with other organizations can help a program increase its visibility and credibility, it can also help gain access to many other resources. Partnering with various community organizations can make available knowledge about fundraising, publicity opportunities, equipment loans or donations, and other useful information, expertise, and resources. Here are some additional organizations to consider when seeking partnerships:

For more information on establishing partnerships, obtain a copy of the Ride Like a Pro Community Handbook (October 1999) available free from NHTSA..(Under Topics, select Bicycle and Helmet Safety, then select 6P0145, Ride Like a Pro Community Handbook.)

Alternative Venues and Subjects [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

While not benefiting from a ready-made venue, student population, or organizational infrastructure, non-school-based programs can have advantages. Non-school-based programs are not restricted to narrow curriculum topics, fixed instructional methods, or time limitations of a typical school.

Off-Campus Programs [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Schools are obviously not the only venues for bicycle safety education. Community centers and park and recreation centers are common locations for bicycle safety classes for both youths and adults. For example, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition conducts its adult bicycle safety program, based on the League of American Bicyclists’ Effective Cycling/Road I course, at local community centers several times a year.

The After School Bike Club, piloted during the summer of 2001 by the City of Madison, Wisconsin, is also a program for middle school-age children. It has the explicit goal of having fun bicycle field trips, while "sneaking in" the less attractive (to children) and implicit goal of teaching bicycle safety education along the way.

The Kids on Bikes program in Reno, Nevada, has traditional bicycle safety and bicycle rodeo components, but also has nontraditional activities, such as refurbishing and giving bicycles as well as helmets to underprivileged youths. Kids on Bikes activities are not currently being conducted in schools, but are being held at community centers, recreation centers, and public events, including a "Child’s Fair" (in April 2000).

Progressive Bicycle Education Programs [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Having the freedom to develop a youth program that is not part of a school can be advantageous. Such a program is not restricted to public school curriculum requirements, time frames, or geographical radius limitations during bicycle rides. Innovative, progressive educational programs that have bicycle safety at their core but also address broader community values can and do succeed, and provide excellent opportunities for partnering with other groups that have compatible aims.

The Earn a Bike program and the Ride Club, both developed by Recycle a Bike in New York City, have several educational goals in addition to bicycle safety. They teach environmental values, recycling, bicycle mechanics, retail business operation, and bicycling as a healthy, fun activity. This is done through the program’s ride clubs, bicycle recycling, and bicycle repair and sales shop. The Earn a Bike program also provides economically disadvantaged youths opportunities to earn bicycles. This program is headquartered in its bicycle repair and retail shop.

The Youth Educational Sports Foundation (YES) in Los Angeles supplements its Bicycle Lessons and Safety Transportation (BLAST) elementary, middle and high school programs with summer activities that resemble the Recycle a Bike program in New York City. Used, broken bicycles are donated to YES and youths learn how to repair the bicycles. A child earns the bicycle when it passes a safety inspection. YES makes sure that the bicycle earning program is available to economically underprivileged youths. These various activities usually take place in schools, but some of the riding activities also occur in parks where the youths can safely practice.

The Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL), which was started in 1989 and sponsors the BikeEd Hawaii bicycle safety program, offers an excellent example of an organization whose educational goals include but extend beyond traditional bicycle safety. The efforts of HBL are driven by a holistic, integrated vision of healthy livable communities in which safe bicycling practice is one of many goals relating to quality of life. Its Web site states:

“HBL envisions Hawaii's neighborhoods as truly livable communities, where people of all ages can safely and comfortably arrive at their destinations no matter which transportation mode they may choose. HBL believes that cooperation among cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists is fundamental not only to increase transportation safety but also improve the quality of life for all of Hawaii's residents.”

The HBL sponsors several events and programs in areas such as:

For information on opportunities to plan and develop bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly facilities in the community, refer to the FHWA Web site. In addition, for information on creating livable neighborhoods that are designed in a manner that address the needs of all residents, including bicyclists and pedestrians, refer to the Web site of the Local Government Commission.

Evaluation Methods [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Measuring the effectiveness of a bicycle safety education program provides information that is useful in two ways: (1) it can help in making decisions about how to improve the program, and (2) it can be used to demonstrate success in achieving stated objectives, which also supports further funding. Program sponsors are often very interested in this data because it underscores the success of the program and may identify the areas that need improvement and expansion. Some sponsors may not require evaluation methods beyond basic program participant counts and narrative summaries of the course. But the more rigorous the evaluation methods are in measuring results, the more credible the program will be. This can increase the ability to improve the program and benefit future funding activities. Two general types of evaluations are discussed below: (1) evaluation of students’ knowledge and skills retention, and (2) program evaluation.

Evaluation of Students’ Knowledge and Skills Retention [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Most of the programs surveyed use written post-tests or a combination of written pre-tests and post-tests, usually in multiple-choice, true/false, and fill in the blank formats. When the pre-tests and post-tests are used together, each student’s attainment of knowledge during the course can be measured. Also common among the programs surveyed are questionnaires completed by students and/or teachers. They provide feedback about how effective the program is and how it can be improved. Another method for evaluating effectiveness is a student on-bike skills demonstration test, which can usually be done at a bicycle rodeo.

Program Evaluation [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Observations of bicycle operation, helmet use, and following rules of the road can be objectively documented. Observers can be posted at high congestion areas near the school, such as the parking lot and playground. Ideally, the data is collected before training and at different post-training intervals – for example, immediate, one month, and three months – to indicate the degree to which the skills, knowledge, and abilities are retained over time. Finally, pre- and post-training information about bicycle-related injury and death rates can be collected for a given training population that may indicate the degree to which safety skills are being practiced. However, this data requires a vast population for the results to be statistically significant, and the methodological difficulties of this data collection can be a challenge.

Publicity [Planning Your Program] [Table of Contents]

Publicity is often critical to the success of a bicycle safety education program. However, program budgets rarely include advertising. Therefore, publicity for a bicycle safety education program requires creative approaches. Word-of-mouth, especially after a program is established, can be powerful publicity. Newly developed programs usually require more proactive efforts in getting publicity because the general public’s knowledge of the program and word-of-mouth networks do not yet exist. Calling and visiting schools and potentially interested organizations is a good starting point. For example, BikeEd in Hawaii had to contact schools and make presentations during its formative years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Currently, the program is so popular among schools that schools must reserve the program one year in advance. Its broad popularity is largely due to the word-of-mouth networks that have developed over the years.

Following is a list of publicity methods used by the various programs surveyed. Except for the time spent to develop them, most of these methods are free or very inexpensive.

Enlist sports arenas, fields, or stadiums to make public service announcements (for example, baseball game intercom announcements)

Partnerships with other organizations, as mentioned previously, can lead to excellent publicity opportunities. For example, the Safe Children Coalition of Maricopa County, Arizona, in cooperation with county schools and the Diamondbacks professional baseball organization, conduct an annual helmet design contest among fourth through sixth graders across the county. Letters are sent to school principals and art and physical education teachers that contain information about the Helmet Your Brain–Avoid the Pain© program and a blank drawing of a bicycle helmet. Students draw a helmet design using Diamondback colors. Thousands of entries are received and a panel of judges selects five finalists.

At a Diamondbacks baseball game, fans vote for their favorite helmet artwork based on the five designs viewed on the jumbo screen. A public service announcement encouraging helmet use and a promotion of the Helmet Your Brain–Avoid the Pain© program is also made by the announcer during the game and at other baseball games for months before and after the contest. The winning design is made into custom-helmet decals by a graphics company that donates its services. Helmets adorned with the winning design are given to the winner's classmates and teacher, and the four other finalists. During the next baseball game, the winner and finalists bicycle into the ballpark and participate in a pre-game on-field ceremony wearing the winning design helmets and T-shirts, and the winner is presented with a trophy.

In this case, a fun activity (the helmet design contest) was created as a way to generate publicity about the program to deliver a valuable public service message (wear bicycle helmets). The Diamondbacks baseball organization readily cooperates by spreading the public service message about helmets and the educational program, lending their high visibility name and the use of the jumbo screen to broadcast the message. This effort has greatly increased demand for the program in schools throughout the region. It also helps counter the negative stigma among children about wearing helmets and spreads the message that helmets really are "cool."

Conclusion [Table of Contents]

Starting a bicycle safety education program should be a team effort. Recruiting supporters, such as program staff members, public Checklist: Developing a Bicycle Safety Education Programschools, or funding organizations, can be one of the biggest challenges in the early stages of development. A key to gaining the attention of potential supporters is to develop a solid rationale for the program’s existence. Your grant proposals, presentations, or other startup documentation should include the reasons for the existence of the program. Specifically state what problem (or problems) in the community the program addresses, for example, bicycle-related injuries. Use statistics or other data available to illuminate and quantify the problem. Then state how the implementation of your program may improve the stated problem through demonstrably attainable goals and objectives. This information will provide the foundation for why your program should be implemented and what you intend to accomplish.

Funding is critical to the life of a program. A major concern for educators is how to sustain funding for a program after it has been created. Federal "Section 402" money was used for startup costs for most of the programs surveyed. Your program may be eligible for Federal Section 402 funding, but only for developmental costs in the program’s initial stages. (The pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator for each state has information on how to apply for Section 402 funds.) Other sources of funding will be required to sustain the program, so your team will need to be creative about obtaining funding in succeeding years.

Partnering with schools obviously can benefit a bicycle safety education program. Schools provide the ready-made venue, student population, organizational infrastructure, and human and other critical resources. Partnering with other organizations that have mutual interests can also help a bicycle safety program succeed. For instance, partnerships can help increase a program’s visibility and credibility, as well as gain access to equipment, knowledge, funding, publicity, and other resources. A majority of the programs surveyed are based in public schools. However, some educators may have difficulty convincing school administrators to incorporate bicycle education into their school curricula. When approaching school administrators, be prepared to point out how a bicycle education program can be beneficial to both the school and the students.

An innovative educational program that takes a nontraditional approach to bicycling can generate a great deal of excitement and interest among educators, participants, parents, and other community members. Some of the programs surveyed include educational goals and methods that extend beyond a conventional bicycle safety curriculum. These programs use bicycling as an educational vehicle for addressing other areas like health and physical fitness, business skills, mechanical skills, and environment/recycling issues. In addition, some programs seek to legitimize bicycling as a sport that should be taught in schools just like other traditional sports.

Program evaluation may serve different purposes. It can provide information about how well the lessons are understood, demonstrated, and retained by the participants. Evaluation data can measure the degree to which the learning objectives are attained. This data may be useful in improving a program and for justifying its existence and continuation to sponsors.

Finally, a program’s visibility in the community is often critical to its continuation and success. Many parents, youths, school administrators, and members of the community in general are not aware of the importance of bicycle safety education. The public needs to be educated about the importance of bicycle safety in their neighborhoods so that demand and support can be generated. Most programs do not have an advertising budget, so an organization needs to be creative in how it publicizes its activities.

Good luck in your efforts to help build a bicycle-safe community.

For more information about this document, contact Tamara Broyhill at (202) 366-4077 or by e-mailing