Project Title: „Cycling is trendy – mobile and safely to school by bicycle “
Subject Cluster: Education
Project Objectives: safe ways to school, promoting bicycle and road safety, teaching environmentally-sound mobility patterns, developing skills for actively shaping personal environments.
Project Participants: Frankfurt Education Authority, Umweltlernen in Frankfurt e. V., State Education Authority, Traffic Authority, Cycle Office Frankfurt, Police, Roads Department, Children's Office, Parks Department
Cooperation Partners: Bike Point, International Bund (IB), traffiQ Lokale Nahverkehrsgesellschaft-Frankfurt am Main mbh.
Project Start: first conducted in 1999
Project Leader: Jürgen Blum, Umweltlernen in Frankfurt e. V.
One way to promote bicycle use is to show children and young people that cycling is an environmentally-friendly, rapid mode of transport which can promote their personal fitness and independence. Safe school routes are indispensable, especially in a big city. The „Bike in Trend“ project develops school route plans for the districts in Frankfurt and uses special experts – the schoolchildren themselves.
„Bike in Trend“ is a project in the “Education for Sustainable Development” (BNE) programme which links education and mobility in a unique way as it encourages using the bicycle for school, regards cycling and public transport as elements of sustainable mobility and develops competencies for the kids to actively shape their own environment.
Schoolchildren explore their way to school
In one project week, schoolchildren at secondary schools explore their routes to school, map danger points and make suggestions for a school route plan for cyclists. They are taken seriously as school route specialists because they know from their daily experience where the dangers lie.
Learning to participate at local level
Proposals are recorded on posters and presented to a panel of representatives from the School, Planning, Roads, Parks, Traffic, Police and State Education Departments. Suggestions for improvement are implemented as quickly as possible or, if this is not possible in the short run, documented for later planning. The schoolchildren learn what participation and social involvement at local level mean.
Developing school route plans for cyclists
The schoolchildren’s analyses of the school route form the basis for route maps for cyclists. The plans make recommendations for the most important routes between schools and residential districts. The route maps show secure crossings and danger spots as well as bus-stops and public transport lines. Parents and schoolchildren can then pick the safest way to school.
Promoting road safety
Other topics in the project week are road safety and environmentally-friendly mobility behaviour. Before the project started, a survey was held among the schoolchildren taking part to gain an overview of their bicycle usage till then.
Practicing cycling skills and learning traffic rules promote road safety. Schoolchildren’s bicycles are checked and smaller repairs made under supervision in cooperation with the Bike Point of the International Bund (IB), a qualification project for unemployed young people. In the project, the children also practice using public transport - a cooperation with the traffiQ Lokale Nahverkehrsgesellschaft.
Developing city-wide, up-to-date school route plans
So far bicycle school route plans have been drawn up for ten districts in Frankfurt and this will be extended in the mid-term to the whole urban area. One important aspect will be to update existing plans since improved cycle paths and new traffic regulations, such as opening one-way streets for bikers to cycle against the traffic, make new routes possible.
The project – part of comprehensive mobility training
The „Bike in Trend“ project was developed with modules from elementary to vocational school level to provide extensive mobility training. Widening the project to the primary school is currently being tested: in the „Cycling to my New School “project, fourth-year primary school pupils get to know the cycle path to their next school. Then they explore it in small groups, with parental participation, whenever possible. In this way, even before they change school, the groundwork for bicycle use has been set.
The „Bike in Trend“ project was recognised in 2014 as an official project of the UN Decade Education for Sustainable Development. It was named a best practice example by the Hessen Ministry for Culture which included it in the Cycling Route Planner Hessen.
Exploring their own school route; mapping danger spots; developing school route plans for cyclists; checking and repairing bicycles; road safety and skills training.
The bicycle – an environmentally-friendly mode of transport; teaching environmentally-friendly mobility behaviour; practising using public transport.
Promoting cycling for fitness and independence; schoolchildren as specialists for safe school routes trying out participation at local level.
Umweltlernen in Frankfurt e. V.
Tel +49 (0)69 212-30130