Bicycle and pedestrian education is becoming more common on college campuses in La Crosse. It began with one Wellness Instructor from Western T. C. who decided it was an important addition to their curriculum. Bicycle Pedestrian Awareness now reaches the students of all four Wellness Instructors at Western T. C. The format has evolved to include a small group activity, followed by a large group discussion. The second part of the instruction is an on-bike class that gives students the opportunity to fine-tune their road skills as they ride through the city of La Crosse. Each semester I find I have convinced a few more Western students to travel by bike, and I have educated an average of seventy-two road users about the rules of the road.
This semester, I also traveled over to work with five Peer Health Educators on the UW-Lacrosse campus. These students are passionate about Health Education. They are working to educate students about health issues important to their population. I spent an hour with the Peer Educators the week before school began and trained them to teach the bicycle pedestrian curriculum. We also brainstormed about other ways to spread our bicycle and pedestrian messages around campus. As a result of our session together, the students then presented the material in six Freshman 100-level classes, we held a bike safety ride to show freshman around the city, and the students continue to post safety information in campus newsletters.
Community Health also invited me to present to a group of twenty-eight students. These students are close to finishing their university classes and will be looking for placements to complete internships before looking for jobs. A small of group from the Community Health class also participated in an on-bike class.
As the days get shorter, we thought it would be a good time to plan an event to encourage riders to use lights. There is a ride planned for October 29th at 4:30 pm from the Eagle Center on the UW-Lacrosse campus. The ride is open to anyone who needs a set of bike lights. The Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition will provide a set of free lights and volunteers will install them when riders arrive at the Root Note.
La Crosse has three colleges and a lot of students riding bicycles. As the community works to improve the infrastructure, we work tirelessly to educate students and all other road users on their rights and responsibilities on our city streets. Click here to read a related story in the La Crosse Tribune.