PUBLISHED: 4:08 PM on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sitka holds Safe Routes to School training
SITKA - Sitka's Bicycle Friendly Community project will host League of American Bicyclists trainer Preston Tyree for a work session on the federal Safe Routes To School program and how those ideals can be applied in Sitka.

The work session took place from Sept. 14, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

During the training, Tyree will discuss the Safe Routes To School program and how Sitka can make it safer for schoolchildren to walk or ride their bikes to school.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

The federal government has allocated funding to improve roadways, such as by building safer street crossings, or providing encouragement for walking by supporting programs such as walking school buses (where groups of schoolchildren walk to school with selected adult volunteers or parents). In addition to helping communities plan safer routes to school, the program also encourages physical activity, which can reduce chronic health problems such as obesity and diabetes among children.

For the past three years, Alaska has received approximately $1 million a year toward the Safe Routes To School program, but so far no action toward the program has been taken in Sitka.

Having Tyree in town will give Sitka a chance to take advantage of his expertise.

For more information on the training in Sitka, contact SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska School and Workplace Coordinator Bradelle Padon at 364-4404.

For information on the Web about the national Safe Routes To School program, go to For information on the two cycling training sessions this week with Tyree, contact SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or Matthew Turner of Sitka Advancing Our Community at 747-3665.