Milwaukee receives Vision Zero for Youth Innovation Award, recognition for efforts to support safe walking and biking amid COVID-19 pandemic.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (April 5, 2021) – The National Center for Safe Routes to School has named the Milwaukee Safe Routes to School Program the recipient of the 2021 Vision Zero for Youth Innovation Award. The program, which received leadership and support from the Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) and Wisconsin Bike Fed, was selected because of its creative, community-driven efforts to support safe walking and biking for youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wisconsin Bike Fed continued its efforts to encourage safe bicycling and get children outside throughout 2020. Its summer bicycle camps were modified to be fully outdoors, Safe Routes to School program elements were retooled into a ‘Safe Routes from Home’ curriculum, and the Champion Training program to train school staff to ride a bike to school continued.
The Wisconsin Bike Fed is grateful for this recognition by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Our more than 15 year long relationship with Milwaukee Public Schools allowed us to creatively move our Safe Routes efforts forward during the pandemic. In 2021 we continue to support our young people in MPS, virtually and in-person, through after-school bike clubs, summer bike camps, and walking clubs. We are especially excited to collaborate with the Department of Public Works – Multimodal team in the 2021 school year and build upon our work at Lincoln Avenue School to include youth voices in the street design process.
The Bike Fed’s team of Safe Routes Instructors, staff at Milwaukee Public Schools, and Sixteenth St. Community Health Center were amazing partners and supported the kids and their ideas all along the way. When education and engagement starts at the grassroots of the school and family and is used to influence elected officials and city departments, those involved learn a great lesson about how powerful their voices can be in making change. We look forward to Milwaukee DPW and Mayor Barrett enacting systemic changes to the process through which they build our city streets, sidewalks, and paths. Additionally, thanks to Alderman Perez for his support of the students voices and dedication to building a more child friendly Milwaukee
“The Milwaukee Safe Routes to School Program provides an exceptional example of how organizations can come together to accomplish big things, even during incredibly challenging times such as those thatNancy Pullen-Seufert, Director,
communities have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
National Center for Safe Routes to School, UNC Highway Safety Research Center
For some more in depth coverage on the project leading up to Spring 2020 and beyond you can read the visual story here.