Promoting Equality Through Bicycle Education in the United States

Key takeaway:

  • A comprehensive approach to bicycle safety incorporates bicycle education in addition to road engineering.


  • Bike education curriculum for schools were first developed in the 1980s by Diana Lewiston and John Forester. Lewiston noted that “many adults’ bike-riding skills are frozen in time, causing grown-ups to ride in the manner they did when they were children,” calling for the importance of education at an early age.
  • The League of American Bicyclists established the first comprehensive bicycle education course, which is now the 9-hour program Traffic Skills 101. A more recent program, which has greater focus on bike handling and safety rather than mechanics is CyclingSavvy, created by Keri Caffrey and Mighk Watson in 2010.
  • Bicycle safety education is mandatory for Dutch children ages 5-12, which could contribute to lower bike fatalities even though bicycling mode share is higher in many areas of Holland than in U.S. cities.


  • This article reviews the history of bicycle safety education for children and adults in the United States and compares Dutch and American education programs, mode share, and injuries and fatalities.

Pion, M., Cline, A.R. (2016). Promoting Equality through Bicycling Education in the United States.

Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal 86(1).

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