Bicycle Safety Town offers more than the name suggests.

As a test run for future drivers, the Peoria Park District’s Bicycle Safety Town teaches kids how to navigate the road from the familiar comfort of their own bicycles. Complete with traffic signs, overpasses and ramps, the facility offers young riders a taste of real-world road rules—and a truly unique riding experience. But Bicycle Safety Town is not exclusive to bikes alone.

With the addition of skateboarding clinics this summer, budding boarders will learn all the basics from guru Jacob Heflin of Airwaves Skate Works—plus a few extra tricks. Participants can attend either one or two classes a week for the clinics’ four-week duration.

Bicycle Safety Town also hosts the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR), the Red Cross and District 150 schools for various events. “IPMR has used Bicycle Safety Town for its ambulatory patients,” explains Carrie Wahlfeld, facility coordinator. “They use a motorized golf cart to maneuver the streets to help rehabilitate those patients and prepare them to get back on real roads.” Every spring and fall, District 150 second-graders come to the facility to learn about bicycle safety.

And the future holds the possibility of further improvements.
As work continues on the Kellar Branch trail extension, which runs directly in front of the facility, Wahlfeld explains that the family-friendly bike haven will receive attention as well. Plans to construct a shelter and playground are among her aspirations. a&s


Bicycle Safety Town, 6518 N. Sheridan Road, is open daily from dawn to dusk, free of charge. Skateboarding clinics will take place on Thursdays (6/23 to 7/14 and 8/4 to 8/25, 5:30 to 6pm) and Saturdays (6/25 to 7/16 and 8/6 to 8/27, noon to 1pm). Register at the Glen Oak Pavilion or online at peoriaparks.org.