Bike to School Week

Downes Bike to School Week logoJoin the Downes Elementary School community in celebration of Bike to School Week by encouraging your children to bike to and from school during the week of May 8–12, 2017.

View/download info flyer (PDF).
View/download press release (PDF).


  • bike trains mapBike Trains – Monday, May 8th: Join one of four group bicycle rides to Downes. Rides start at Pilgrim Baptist Church, Wesleyan Church of Newark, Nottingham Swim Club and Fairfield Park at 8am. Rides will be led by parents, Mayor Polly Sierer, and Newark Police officers. Bicycle helmets are required and locks are recommended. Rain date is May 9. In addition, Mayor Sierer will deliver our second annual Bike to School Day Proclamation. View/download bike trains sheet (PDF).
  • Casho Mill Road Bike Lane Demo – Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to test out safety improvements being considered for the Casho Mill Road bike lane and share your ideas using an online survey. Volunteers will be available on Wednesday, May 10, from 3-6pm to answer your questions and assist with survey completion.

Bike Trains

A bike train consists of groups of students accompanied by adults that bicycle a pre-planned route to school. 

bike trains 2017_4_13_17-page-001
Click on the image above to open a larger version of the route map

On Monday, May 8, we invite you and your child(ren) to join one of four bicycle routes to Downes. Bike trains will depart from Pilgrim Baptist Church on Barksdale Road, the Wesleyan Church on Church Road, the Nottingham Green pool, and Fairfield Park, and will be led by Downes parents, the Mayor of Newark, and Newark Police officers.


Use the map featured to the right to find your child’s train and associated route.

Pop-Up, Buffered Bike Lane

Last August, Downes Elementary School received a Safe Routes to School bicycle infrastructure grant. One project being considered is the construction of buffered bike lanes along Casho Mill Road between Barksdale Road and Nottingham Road. This would narrow car travel lanes on Casho Mill Road to reduce the speed of traffic and separate motorists from bicyclists using a wide (3 ft) painted buffer lined with a rumble strip.  

During Bike to School Week, the Downes community will have the opportunity to explore both a buffered and “protected” bike lane as part of a temporary demonstration project that will be made available along a portion of Casho Mill Road. A “protected” bike lane is similar to a buffered bike lane, offering more protection, and could be considered as part of a future phase of the project.

Get Involved


Parents are asked to take photos, pinpoint the location of the photo, and provide comments about their child(ren)’s bike route—riding to and from school.

Follow this easy, three-step process!


SNAP! Use your smart phone or mobile device to take a photo(s) along the bike-to-school route that shows either good conditions (e.g., shade trees, roadway signage) or problematic aspects (e.g., speeding cars, roadway obstructions).

ANDStory Map screenshot

SHARE! Access the online GIS Story Map  to:

  • Upload your photo(s)
  • Name your photo
  • Pinpoint the photo’s location
  • Provide comments. What did your child(ren) like or dislike about their route?


During the Downes Bike to School Week, a “pop-up” buffered bike lane will be temporarily installed along Casho Mill Road. Parents are asked to bicycle with your child(ren) on the pop-up buffered bike lane and provide feedback through an online survey. Adults over the age of 18 can participate in the survey by:

  • Accessing the Online Survey via a cell phone, mobile device, or computer,
  • Accessing the online survey using the QR Code posted in front of school and next to the pop-up buffered bike lane, OR
  • Coming to the pop-up bike lane info session on Wednesday, May 10 at 3-6 p.m. to take the survey.
  • Survey QR Code (pictured below)|
    Survey QR Code

QR Codes for the story map and survey are posted near the pop-up bike lane, a FR QR Code Reader App is available for both iOS Devices at the iPhone App Store and Android Devices on the Google Play App Store.

Safe Biking Tips

  • Make sure your child’s bike is road ready. Review Nemours Children’s Health System’s Bicycle Safety Checklist (PDF).
  • Wear a helmet.  Helmets are required by Delaware law if under the age of 16, but recommended for all ages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in mitigating head and brain injuries.
  • Stay visible. Use lights when biking at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Follow the Rules of the Road. Bike in the direction of traffic and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Learn About Bicycle Safety! Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 11.59.15 AMThis interactive coloring and activity booklet was developed for children in Kindergarten through the 3rd grade by the Delaware Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, in partnership with Delaware Risk Watch and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Community Traffic Safety Program.