Safe Routes To School
Kids learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school! – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors, community to do the same is, in our opinion, a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.
Independent, happy, confident, ready to learn youth are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more and sit less and be leaders in their community.
Norte! administers Traverse City’s Safe Routes To School programs in partnership with Traverse City Area Public Schools, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools and other neighborhood schools in TC. What began as our co-founders inviting a couple neighborhood kids to pedal to school with them has grown into a legit, comprehensive, community-wide initiative.
Our programs, projects and events are dedicated to empowering elementary and middle school students to actively transport themselves to school as well as to grow walk/bike culture at our partner schools.
The benefits of walking and biking to school are many, of course:
- better concentration in class
- less traffic congestion near schools
- improved cognitive abilities
- stronger sense of community
- more exercise
- safer streets: communities with the higher walk/bike rates have lower crash rates for all travel modes
- a distraction-free time to connect with families and classmates
- less air pollutants from automobiles
Passionate about kids getting themselves to YOUR school? Get involved!
- Fridays Fantástico: A weekly celebration of students walking, biking and rolling to school.
- The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment: A community-wide network of adult led bike train connecting Traverse City neighborhoods to neighborhood schools.
- Winter Walk Wednesdays: A #StepItUp inspired celebration of people – big or small – walking to work, school or just for FUN! in Traverse City.
- Park & Stroll: For those students who attend a school of choice or live too far away from their home school. Drive. Park. Walk 5 minutes to school. Easy.
- Bike2Bus: Portable bike racks at neighborhood bus stops and mapping of safe routes to these racks to encourage “biking to bus”.
- The Bike Mas Project: An adventure-based after school empowerment program for upper elementary students.
- El Barrio Bike Fix: A pop-up bike fix and learn-to-wrench program.
- Estrellas: A learn-to-ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes.
- Norte! Bike Library: Ensuring that awesome kids have awesome bikes to pedal to school no matter their family’s resources.
- Traverse City Bikes To School Day
- Traverse City Walks To School Day
- Winter Bike To Work and School Day
- TC Safe Routes To School Champion Awards
- The Bike Mas Project: A Summer Camp
- Central Grade
- Cherry Knoll
- GTACS Holy Angels
- GTACS Immaculate Conception
- Eastern Elementary
- East Middle
- TCAPS Montessori
- Traverse Heights Elementary
- Old Mission Peninsula
- West Middle
- Willow Hill
- Westwoods Elementary
- Trinity Lutheran
Current list of Norte! Bike Trains:
- The Eastern Star Express
- The Eastern Special
- The Eastern Star Line
- The Eastern Flyer
- The Central Grade Zephyr
- The Central Grade Coastal Classic
- The Central Grade Limited
- The Montessori Trolley
- The Montessori Meteor
- The Montessori Bay Express
- The Traverse Heights Golden Arrow
- The Willow Hill Comet
- The West Middle Empire Builder
- The Westwoods Rebel
STRS infrastructure projects in progress:
We’re dreaming big to make walking/biking/rolling to school the new normal in Traverse City but we need mucho quality big people to make it happen. Helping kids actively get to school is both easier and awesome’er than you think.