ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s the first of its kind in Minnesota, a bicycle playground that aims to teach kids the rules of the road.
Dozens of partners worked to transform the blacktop at Silver Lake Park, between the swimming pool and skate park, into a bicycle training ground.
Mac Wilson, of Stillwater, has three kids and is one parents that sees the project as a teaching tool.
“You can only go up and down the sidewalk so many times,” Wilson said, “and as these kids get older and they're biking to schools or biking to their jobs or something, they're not necessarily going to be biking on sidewalks. They're going to be biking on the roads. They need to learn how to share the roads with motorists.”
Some of the simulations on the playground include a roundabout and stop signs.
“There's going to be a place here where it simulates a one-way,” Wilson said, “and that's stuff that even us as motorists, we could use some practice with.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said it’s an example for other communities in the state.
“It's great exercise. It's a great way to have transit in a growing and vibrant community,” Malcolm said, “but the skills in biking and the comfort with biking in different environments is really very, very important.”
Organizers hope to have the project done by the end of this week, in time for kids getting out of school for the summer.