D.C. Public Schools embraces a new form of practicing traffic safety.

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New Traffic Themed Playground Hopes To Teach Youth About Transportation Safety

April 12, 2019

Kids within D.C. Public School System now have a new way to add safety to their recess -- traffic gardens.

The traffic gardens, which are miniature towns made up of small-sized streets and painted onto the school's playground, are meant to help students learn about traffic safety.

"The gardens provide students with a safe space to learn about roadway safety by riding bicycles and learning to navigate the streets away from motorized traffic," D.C. Department of Transportation said in a press release.

Neval Thomas Elementary, located in Northeast Washington, DC is a recent recipient of this recess inhancer, which is also part of Mayor Bowser's Vision Zero initiative to end fatalities and serious injuries in the District.

Related: Ride-Hailing Service for Kids Coming to the DMV

"DCPS teachers every second grader how to ride a bicycle, and the traffic gardens support our effort to ensure students master bicycling skills early in their lives," DCPS spokesperson Shane Wells told WPGC.

Since the garden's integration, students at Thomas have been able to jump right in to the new curriculum.

"The students at Neval Thomas are improving their bicycling skills with each lesson and looking forward to the final component of the biking program, which is a ride along the nearby Anacostia Riverwalk Trail," Wells said.

The trail is meant to serve as a final challenge allowing students to display their new biking skills as well as have fun, Wells said.

"DCPS looks forward to working with our city partners to explore expanding the traffic garden program to additional schools," Wells said.

DCPS has opened one other traffic garden at Aiton Elementary School in Ward 8 and hopes to explore expanding the traffic garden program in the future.

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