'Sweet Streets' program creates incentive for safe biking

The program will kick off on Saturday.
Isaiah, left, and Zion Essien, right pose for a photo with their mom, Jennifer and Superior Police Chief Nick Alexander at 18 Oaks., where the creation of the Sweet Streets program will be announced later this week. (Courtesy of Councilor Jenny Van Sickle)

Children riding their bikes while wearing a helmet could be ticketed by the Superior Police Department this summer.

The citation will entitle them to a free scoop of ice cream at Sweeden Sweets.

The Sweet Streets program will roll out in two phases.

The first phase gets underway 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 20 in the Superior Public Library parking lot, when helmets are given away to children ages 5 to 14.

“I want to make sure kids are set up to succeed,” said Councilor Jenny Van Sickle, who has been working to design the program for about a year. “If you don’t have a helmet, you’re not even eligible."


Essentia Health is donating 100 helmets to the cause, Van Sickle said.

During the giveaway, children and adults will have the opportunity to learn about how to properly fit the helmet so it's effective.

Wearing a helmet can eliminate 85% of head injuries from bicycle crashes or falls, according to data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The goal of the program is to promote safe and healthy activity, increase foot traffic in small businesses and encourage positive police relationships in the community.

Police officers will start handing out tickets in July.

While Sweeden Sweets has donated 250 tokens for ice cream, she said if additional sponsors come on board, it would help extend the program through the fall when kids go back to school.

“It will incentivize kids to ride their bike to school,” Van Sickle said.

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