Safe Routes to School Program
Welcome to Virginia Safe Routes to School!
If you’re new to Safe Routes to School, click here for an introduction letter to the program from Virginia’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator Rob Williams. And be sure to check out this program brochure for some quick facts about Virginia Safe Routes to School.
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program has been active in Virginia since 2007 and helps schools and communities across the state make walking and biking to school a safe, convenient, natural activity.
June 6 - 2016-2017 VA SRTS Calendar Available
Summer is a great time to start planning SRTS activities for the next school year! Stay organized and informed about upcoming statewide and national SRTS events by downloading our calendar here and check out the Resource Library page for more planning tools.
May 31 - Celebrating Bike to School Day 2016!
Congratulations Virginia, Bike to School Day 2016 was another incredible success! A total of 218 schools across the state registered events on www.walkbiketoschool.org, not only beating our goal of 200 events, but also exceeding last year's total by almost 50 events.
Nationally, Virginia ranked third among all states based on the number of Bike to School Day event registrations, and well ahead of ahead of bigger states like Florida, Texas and New York!
None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of SRTS partners like you. Thank you to everyone who registered events, coordinated with schools, educated students about bicycle safety and participated in Bike to School events during the month of May.
Carver Intermediate School, Chesapeake
Claremont Elementary School, Arlington
April 12 – National Recognition for Virginia’s Local SRTS Coordinator Program
Earlier this spring, the National Center for Safe Routes to School featured Virginia’s Local SRTS Coordinator Program as one of the Success Stories on their website, www.saferoutesinfo.org.
This feature is the third Success Story from Virginia, but the first to highlight the unique structure that makes Virginia’s program so effective. Since the Local SRTS Coordinator Program launched in 2012:
- Walk to School Day participation has tripled, rising from 98 registered events in 2012 to 282 registered events in 2015.
- Bike to School Day participation has increased significantly, from 26 registered events in 2012 to 218 registered events in 2016.
- Student Travel Tally collection has gone from fewer than 30 schools before 2012 to 266 schools participating Student Travel Tally Month in 2015.
As impressive as these numbers are, they don’t tell the full story. Read the entire piece here and discover how the Virginia Local SRTS Coordinator Program’s impact is even greater than participation rates in these signature events suggest.
Shrevewood Elementary School’s Healthy Living Festival, Falls Church VA
The Safe Routes to School Program is a federally-funded program created under Section 1404 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
As written in SAFETEA-LU, the purpose of the SRTS program is to:
- Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
- Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age
- Facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools
In July 2013, MAP-21 – the new federal transportation bill -- became law, folding SRTS into a new Transportation Alternatives program. SRTS projects are now eligible to compete for funding alongside other programs, including the Transportation Enhancements program and Recreational Trails program. VDOT’s Local Assistance Division is managing the Transportation Alternatives program. Click here for more information.
Non-infrastructure funding from SAFETEA-LU is still available through the Virginia Safe Routes to School Program. More information is available on the Travel Plans and Grants landing page.
Virginia SRTS Program Strategic Plan
The VDOT Safe Routes to School Program completed a Strategic Plan to guide our work through 2017. The Plan is available for download by clicking on the cover.
Robert J. Williams
Safe Routes to Schools Program coordinator
Transportation and Mobility Planning Division
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219