Advisory Committee

Before the 2018-19 school year, Northshore School District did not have a biking policy in relation to their elementary campuses. Allowing students to ride to school, where it is safe to do so, creates greater transportation flexibility for families, allows students to exercise greater independence and responsibility in a safe manner that is consistent with county and state codes, and promotes positive physical health.

The committee developed a comprehensive K-5 bicycle recommendation that allowed elementary principals to have a clear guideline and policy when deciding if their school is safe for biking.


Starting Line

  • We began by examining traditional barriers that have prevented schools from allowing elementary students to ride their bikes to schools.
  • We reviewed policies of neighboring schools and districts
  • We established criteria of what would be considered safe or unsafe routes to school



The committee utilized a wide-ranging catalog of resources to inform the K-5 policy. Among the resources used to help generate the policy were:

  • Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) and Revised Codes of Washington (RCWs)
  • Washington State laws that pertain to the use of bicycles on public roads
  • Existing policies and procedures from neighboring districts and schools
  • Recommendations from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC)
  • Traffic and commuting data for Snohomish and King County
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian facility definitions as determined by King and Snohomish County
  • Information regarding recommendations for age appropriateness and other safety components from organizations such as Cascade Bicycle Club and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
  • Articles and recommendations from the following organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH).
  • Information from various community and specialized organizations that sponsor and promote biking to school such as the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and UNC Highway Safety Board


Student Safety Criteria

The committee established criteria that would maximize student safety including:

  • Training requirements
  • Age
  • Application process


Route Safety Criteria

  • 25 mph speed limit for surrounding roads
  • Sidewalks
  • On-Road or separately marked bike lanes
  • Off-road Bike Trails
  • 3' Asphalt & Concrete shoulders
  • 4'+ Asphalt & Concrete shoulders
  • Flashing Beacon Crosswalks
  • Marked Crosswalks



A comprehensive response to the question “can my child ride his/her bike to school” includes:

  • A detailed application packet for families
  • Detailed maps for all schools that can be used to inform families about potentially ideal routes or possible hazards
  • Resources for each school that are accessible for families and staff


Committee Members

  • Dave Wellington
    Assistant Superintendent
  • Brian Matthias
    Wellington Principal
  • Ali Airhart
    Canyon Creek Assistant Principal
  • Christine Cash
    Risk Management
  • Adam Bacot
    Lockwood Music Teacher
  • Garret Ware
    Bothell Police Department & SRO
  • Wil Porter
    Parent & Community Member
  • Thom Hudson
    Parent & Community Member
  • Heather Rudd
    Parent & Community Member
  • Brett Shock
    Parent, Community Member, & City Engineer for City of Kenmore