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MnDOT awards New York Mills with fleet of 40 bikes

The New York Mills school district was awarded bicycle fleets, trailers and supplies to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety, according to a news release Tuesday, Sept. 11, from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

According to a news release, the bikes were expected to arrive in the spring.

As a part of MnDOT's Safe Routes to School program, these grants award communities a trailer, bicycles and supplies that enable teachers, after school programs, and other community groups to share the bicycles while teaching critical safety skills to youth in Minnesota.

"The bicycle fleet grants and pedestrian and bicycle safety education are key components that ensure youth in Minnesota are given the lifelong skills to walk and bicycle safely," said Dave Cowan, Safe Routes to School coordinator.

He said since 1960, the rate of youth bicycling and walking to school has decreased from 48 percent to 17 percent, something Safe Routes to School programming and funding opportunities aim to reverse.

"The bike fleet will provide equitable access to a well-maintained fleet of bicycles and teach thousands of Central Minnesota youth every year how to safely walk and bike to school," said Kathy Geislinger, program manager at Feeling Good Minnesota. "Safe Routes to School promotes physical activity and can increase walking and biking to and from school, ultimately leading to improved health for children and adolescents."

Bicycle and pedestrian safety education includes teaching Minnesota's Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum for children ages 5 to 13 in schools, after school programs, and within community organizations.

New York Mills Schools will host a Walk! Bike! Fun! Training from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at the school. The free training includes lunch. Register for the training at bikemn.org or call or email Michelle Kiefer, SRTS Program Manager at 507-430-2280 or michelle@bikemn.org with any questions or concerns.

More information is available at www.mndot.gov/saferoutes.