Street Smarts is a City of Davis traffic safety public education campaign. Street Smarts makes Davis safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and also joins with schools and the community to help make Davis a safer place to live, work, and play.

Safe Routes to School is an international movement dedicated to increasing the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects that remove the barriers that currently prevent them from doing so. In 1969, nearly 50 percent of all children in the United States (and nearly 90 percent of those within a mile of school) walked or bicycled to school. Today, that number has plummeted to fewer than 15 percent. This program aims to create safe and fun opportunities for children to use active modes of transportation to their schools again!

Polar Pedal 

 Polar Pedal Logo. Green with polar bears. Text: "Help Polar Bears by Riding Your Bike in February!"


Our mission is to teach the connection to the student’s daily actions and the environment. Polar Pedal empowers students to help Polar Bears and create positive change in the environment by walking and biking to school.

Program Description:

Join us in our POLAR PEDAL and for the entire month of February if you bike or walk to school you earn points toward adopting a Polar Bear for your school. DJUSD elementary schools will work together on a goal to adopt polar bears through Polar Bear International. For every 500 trips to school Davis Students complete a polar bear will be adopted! Our target is 10,000 trips for the month of February! To participate you must scan in!  Don’t have a scan tag yet??? Register here: .

 Did you know the only way to save polar bear habitat is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions? One way you can help is by riding your bike. The link to polar bears is direct, because most vehicles burn fossil fuels, which create CO2. And the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the warmer the Earth will be. You can help by biking and speaking up for a bike-friendly community.

In 2017, DJUSD students braved the weather and successfully biked, walked, scooted or skipped to school 7220 times!  We adopted 14 polar bears!

Each school received a polar bear adoption certificate and the book “The Polar Bear” by Jenni Desmond. This book was nominated as one of the best science books of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday.  We are happy to continue to add books to the local libraries – this complements our ongoing Books on Bikes program.

Parents said that helping polar bears has been great motivation to get their kids on bikes.  Other parents have been pleasantly surprised by the fun that can be had walking to school in the rain - exploring for worms, looking for wayward tree limbs and marveling at the grand scale of the neighborhood puddles.  The bike riders have been reporting epic puddle splashes and can be observed with huge grins arriving at school!

Willett elementary had a classroom challenge where the classroom with the most bike/walk/scoot/skateboard trips in February wins a Klondike bar party and naming rights to the Polar Bear – The winner was Mr. Millie’s 4th grade class with a whopping 76% of the students scanning in the month of February. 

A polar bear sized thank you to the parent and volunteer champions who not only encouraged the students to ride but who were also out in the polar conditions bright and early every school morning. This program would not have been possible without generous funding from Kaiser Permanente – thank you!  Thank you to graphic designer Tara Parker-Essig ( a UC Davis student who volunteered her time and creativity to create the goal chart, banners, stickers and pledges.

Poster Contest

For information on the 2017 Street Smarts Poster Contest, please look under the "Contest" tab on the right, or click HERE!

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Posters now due at City of Davis Street Smarts Program (23 Russell Blvd) by November 9 by 5 pm. 

Street Smarts Poster Contest

 Save the Date: Winners will be announced at the 2017 Street Smarts Poster Contest Awards Ceremony to be held December 8th at 5 p.m. at the Davis Art Center. There will be 3 winners from each age category (K-3, 4-6, 7-9).


Also... check out this page for more information on:

The goal of Street Smarts is to support safe and easy active transportation, and to reduce the number of crashes and injuries. Our efforts target the leading traffic problems: speeding, distracted driving, and not following traffic safety rules like stop sign compliance and proper helmet use.

In order to make our streets safer, Street Smarts encourages you to ride a bike or walk whenever you can, and leave your car at home. Fewer cars = safer streets! Plus, the less we use our cars, the less we pollute the air... and clean air means a healthier planet. So strap on your helmet, get out your walking shoes, and let’s hit the streets…the smart way!

Going the Extra Mile Award
Books on Bikes
Biking with Confidence
Mechanic Classes
Back to School Basics
Polar Pedal
Safe Routes to Sports
Bike a Kid to School Day
Community Employment Services

Going the Extra Mile Biking Award 

Street Smarts has awarded students and teachers with the "Going the Extra Mile Award." This award celebrates individuals for their dedication to biking, their commitment and hard work to Go the Extra Mile, and thanks them for being and inspiration to their community.

This award was established in response to hearing the story of Jesse Krause, a 5th Grader at Willett.  When Jesse was in 3rd grade he was still learning to ride his bike and was unable to participate in bike to School Day. He has autism and as such struggles with some of the coordination skills required for biking.  Jesse worked on his biking skills with a neighbor for an entire year to be able to participate in his 4th grade Bike to School Day.  We were so impressed with this story we thought that it would be great to celebrate everyday heroes of biking in our community. 

Parent Champions (parent volunteer who run the school based scanning program) at each school nominated kids and school staff that have gone above and beyond for biking.  Kiana Giome (also a 5th Grader at Willett) rode over 1000 miles to school last year was given the award. Mike Maranta and Sawyer Schoen (North Davis Elementary) rode to school every day last school year. Teacher Kate Bowen (Patwin) was also awarded because she is one of the few (if not the only) teacher to take kids on a biking filed trip in Davis.

We are looking for new nominations to celebrate students and school district employees that go the extra mile for bikingIf you have someone extraordinary to nominate, let us know! 

Lorretta Moore presents the "Going the Extra Mile" award to students

Active4.Me Scanning Program 

The Active4.Me scanning program started in 2010. 436 Davis children participated in the Save a Gallon program and saved 1,710 gallons of gas. The program is now called, has 1699 children participating, and has saved 5996 gallons this school year so far.

Active4.Me is an innovative program that schools can use to increase the number of students biking and walking to and from school. The program uses barcode technology to capture trips to school and computes the impact each trip has on CO2, gas, dollars, and calories. Each student is given a barcode tag and it is entered into the Active4.Me database. Every school day a volunteer scans in each student as they arrive, capturing that trip. Parents are immediately notified by text (SMS), phone, or e-mail that their student has arrived at school.

 How it works

 • Sign-up at

Parent permission is required for students to sign up for! Please register, print, sign and return the registration form to receive a student barcode tag. Registration forms can be dropped off in the front office or to the scanning station near the bike racks. Permission slips are available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. 

• Anyone enrolled at local Elementary can participate.

• A volunteer scans in each student each day as they arrive at school, capturing that trip.

• A text or email is sent to notify parents that the child has been “scanned” and is at school.

• This is a parent-run volunteer program that is supported by the PTA.

 Why participate?

• Parents receive a text or email each day when their child checks in with a scanning volunteer - it’s a perk to get a notification that your child has arrived safely at school!

• It encourages kids to be active!

• Riding or walking to school helps develops maturity and independence!

• The data collected helps Davis qualify for grants that are used to pay for improvements to our bike paths and safe routes to school!

• Kids earn small incentives throughout the year!

• If you live too far away to walk or bike, you can drop off as close as a block from school (which might be easier for parents!) and walk from there!

Books on Bikes Program 

The Books on Bikes program gives free books to all elementary school libraries in Davis to celebrate bicycling, bike culture, and bike safety, and provide positive images and stories about the use of bicycles for elementary school children. Students, and their parents, are exposed to many forms of media that promote driving (like car advertisements on TV, and popular films like the animated Cars movie) but rarely are bicycles promoted to children in this same way. The collection of books provided to each school will provide fun information for kids promoting an easy and safe way to travel that doesn’t negatively impact the local air quality. This program is designed to build a culture of biking. We hope that by incorporating these stories into library collections it will begin to normalize the idea of biking to children and their families and encourage them to choose this as an everyday form of transportation to school, work, or other recreational destinations.

 A display of books related to bikes at an elementary school library

Biking with Confidence 

Biking with Confidence is a new bike education class offered by the City of Davis. Whether your riding is rusty or you are proficient on your pedals, this class will teach you how to ride your bike in traffic, the rules of the road, and tips to become a more predictable rider.

This course is a combination of classroom and on-street instruction. Participants age 12 and older must bring a bike in good working condition, a helmet and water. Sign up at through Parks and Community Services. Dates are May 6th, June 12th, July 11th, August 17th, September 17th, and October 15th. The cost is $19.

Mechanic Classes 

City of Davis LCI-trained instructors / bike mechanics will be teaching Bike Maintenance classes at the Junior High Schools. Topics covered include: bike tools, types of bikes, chain, drivetrain, shifting, tires, and brakes. 

An instructor teaches students about bike mechanics

Back to School Basics 

Back to school means more children walking and biking on our roads. It’s exciting and fun, but there’s one thing that all families should add to their lists as they prepare for back to school – the trip to school.

Now is the perfect time to practice getting to and from school safely.  Find your school and plan your trip using our Safe Routes to School Maps. If you are interested in help with route finding, we can help!

Also: as DJUSD and UCD students return to school, there will be more bikers and more drivers on the roads. It is important for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians to be aware of one another, slow down and pay attention – especially before and after school.  

Here are some back-to-school safety tips:

  • Leave a bit early and expect delays. Traffic in and around schools will be chaotic especially at arrival and dismissal times. Allow extra time to get to your destination
  • Consider parking a block away and walking your children to school to help cut down on congestion around schools and the potential for accidents.
  • Be alert for school zones.
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones (young children can be harder to see and unpredictable).
  • Have children enter and exit vehicles on the passenger side of the car, next to the sidewalk.
  • Reminding your children to look in all directions (left, right, front and back) before crossing the street.
  • Remind your children that bicyclists under the age of 18 must wear a buckled helmet.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility! Let’s look out for each other and help everyone arrive to school safely!

Safe Routes to Sports 

 Safe Routes to Sports Page

Bike a Kid to School Day! 

The First Annual Bike a Kid to School Day was April 5th. Grown-ups had a reason to get on their bikes and the opportunity to bike to school with their favorite kids! Parents, Grandparents and Significant Others were invited to enjoy a lovely spring ride to school and be part of this fun new event! We had Bike Trains going to 3 schools and Davis PD Bike Officers leading 3 trains! It was a great start to this annual event.

Police Officer biking a group of children to school.

Community Employment Services 

Streets Smarts is excited about a new partnership with Community Employment Services, an agency that provides goal-oriented support to adults with disabilities, including persons with autism, Downs Syndrome, and physical disabilities. Community Employment Services is providing volunteers for the Active4.Me school bike scanning program. Willett Elementary is piloting the new partnership with a great volunteer Nicole LaCaro.

Giving Traffic Safety the Green Light

Launch of the Street Smarts program was an unprecedented public-private traffic safety effort. Partners include: Davis Chamber of Commerce, Davis Downtown Business Association, Davis Farmers Market, Davis Joint Unified School District, Davis Police Department, The Davis Enterprise, Unitrans, UC Davis and Yolo Transportation Management Association. 

Just as driving under the influence and recycling campaigns have led to shifts in public behavior, we are optimistic that Street Smarts will positively impact the actions of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.  After all, Street Smarts is about respecting the community where we live and work.

Living with safe streets makes Davis a nicer place to live, work, and play.  We welcome local businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals to become involved as Street Smarts partners and sponsors.  Please visit our Support and Sponsorship page for these opportunities.

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