For three Fridays this March, students at Brunswick East Primary School arrived by foot, bike, scooter or skateboard as part of an active travel trial organised by the school, Merri-bek City Council and Bicycle Network.
Open Streets’ closed off a small section of Stewart Street to cars each Friday prioritising student safety and wellbeing.
Not just about the smoothies
At critical pick up and drop off times, students enjoyed ride-on smoothies and other activities in the freedom of a car-free zone circling their school.
Alongside the drawcard of “great smoothies”, student Ziggy, Coordinator of Active Travel at Brunswick East Primary School, credits the trial’s success to student enjoyment. It’s “lots of fun!” Other students, Otto, Charlie, and Fabian also enjoyed the active and social side of the trial.
“You’re getting activity in the morning,” says Charlie, “so it helps you start your day and gives you energy.”
Safe and active communities
Mayor of Merri-bek City Council, Cr Annalivia Carli Hannan, visited Open Streets to enjoy the festive activities.
“It’s really important for us to see children safe, active and together as a community,” she says.
Describing the closure of the street as “next level” to Bicycle Network’s long commitment to safer streets and active travel, Cr Annalivia Carli Hannan said the local community embraced the ambitions of the trial.
“We’ve seen how supportive the community has been of this trial and we hope to roll it out across other parts of Merri-bek and with other schools as well,” she added.
For more information
Merri-bek City Council’s new Ride & Stride program offers two local primary schools the opportunity to take part in active travel pilots like Open Streets in 2021.
Each school selected for the Ride & Stride Pilot will work with council to design a bespoke, integrated program to encourage active travel to and from the school gates and be in the running for a suite of active travel behaviour change programs valued up to $15,000.
Applications close Thursday 1st April 2021 at 5pm. Apply here.