1. Bike to School Day: Wednesday, May 9th!
Wednesday, May 9th is the first annual National Bike to School Day. The Rodgers Forge Safe Routes to School Committee is organizing a group bicycle ride for RFES kids accompanied by their parents to and from school that day. We will assemble and start at the intersection of Overbrook Road and Pinehurst Road at 8:30 AM.
We will ride down Pinehurst to the alley behind Dumbarton Road to Glen Argyle and then cross Dumbarton on to the school grounds. The ride will be at a leisurely pace and last about 5 minutes, and will be a special treat for the kids. We ask that anyone wishing to participate follow these guidelines:
- Only children who have at least a basic level of competency with riding on two wheels in the street and within groups should participate.
- Children from each household should be accompanied by a parent or guardian riding their own bike or on a tandem.
- All children must wear a helmet by law, and all adults should also wear helmets.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate so we can plan accordingly.
We are also seeking volunteer parents or residents stationed along the route on foot who can help hold traffic briefly at intersections along Pinehurst and/or take pictures of the group as they ride by. Please RSVP if you can help in this regard as well.
We have requested Baltimore County Police presence to provide additional traffic control at the school to minimize congestion. If you are not participating in the bike ride, please consider walking your child to school on Wednesday. Or, if you must drive, please try to park on a side street rather than dropping off in front of the school. It makes a huge difference in creating a more pedestrian and bike friendly environment in front of the school when there are fewer cars dropping off and picking up! Most importantly, if you are driving that day, please drive especially slowly and cautiously looking for cyclists.
A bike rack is available at the school near the kindergarten entrance. If the rack becomes full and there is no space available to lock up your bike, arrangements have been made to store bikes securely inside the school rec room for the day.
|Marla Streb leading the April 17th RFES Bike Assembly|
2. Bike Rodeo at Rodgers Forge Elementary School.
On Tuesday, May 8th, Bike Maryland will be conducting their Bike-Minded Training Program at RFES for 3-5th graders. The course will last 45 minutes for each class and all bicycles and helmets will be provided by Bike Maryland. The course will be led by Marla Streb, the Baltimore-based former National and World Mountain Biking Champion.
In April, Marla recently conducted a bicycle assembly at RFES to teach kids about bike safety and also brought professional bicycle stunt riders to get the kids excited about bicycling.
3. New Bike Rack for RFES has been ordered (..but will BCPS allow it to be installed?)
As part of the grant that the RFES SRTS Committee was awarded last fall from the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the Rodgers Forge Community Association has purchased a new bike rack to be donated to RFES and installed near the main entrance of the school. The rack has been ordered and is expected to be delivered in late May. It will hold 16 bikes, expanding the capacity of bike parking at RFES.
However, despite great support from RFES staff, we have run into an unexpected issue with BCPS, which is not allowing the bike rack to be installed unless it is mounted on a concrete pad. Such a pad does not exist and a new one would have to be installed by one of their approved contractors. The school received a quote of $8,214, mostly for the installation of the concrete pad. BCPS representatives have told the school that they do not have funds available for the installation. So as of right now, we are in the unfortunate position of not being able to install the rack so it will be stored inside the school indefinitely until this issue is resolved.
We had expected to be able to place the freestanding rack (which weighs over 100 lbs.) on a landscaped mulch bed, as is common practice at many schools around the country. To alleviate the BCPS concern about liability and safety, we offered to use community labor and donated materials to pour footers to anchor the rack into the ground at its corners instead of going through the expense and undesirable environmentally unfriendly concrete pad, but BCPS Facilities still said no to that without explanation. So, we are hoping that BCPS will reconsider their decision and allow some flexibility about the installation. Our County Councilman David Marks, who has been a staunch supporter of SRTS is also working on this issue to see if a solution can be found. Until then, the new bike rack will unfortunately be kept in storage..