Safe Routes to School
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.
December 1 - Nominations Open for Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guard of 2017
Does your crossing guard stand outside in all types of weather? Is he or she always smiling and have a kind word as you travel to and from school? Is your crossing guard one of Virginia's Most Outstanding? Tell us all about why your crossing guard is one of the state's best using our online form. Be sure to include a photo and story letting us know how your crossing guard truly goes above and beyond. Winners will be announced on our website on February 7, 2018.
But don't stop there! Be sure to celebrate and thank your crossing guard on Crossing Guard Appreciation Day next February 14, 2018. Find event ideas and downloads, including thank you cards, sticker templates and flyers on the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day webpage.
November 30 - 2018 Non-Infrastructure Grants Announcement
- February 7, 2018: Online application system opens.
- March 23, 2018: Last day to complete and submit the full application.
- 20% match: School divisions that have received full funding for at least three years will be asked to match a portion of VDOT's grant funds with local funds or donations.
- Activities and Programs Plan Review: First time applicants are encouraged to submit a draft Activities and Programs Plan (APP) for review by February 14, 2018 prior to submitting the final plan.
- Online application system access: The final APP must be submitted in order to have full access to the online application system.
New to the SRTS grant process? Please give us a call or send an email to let us know, so we can answer your questions and make sure you are aware of all of the resources that are available!
October 31 – We Made Our Goal for WTSD 2017!
It was another record-breaking year for Walk to School Day in Virginia. At the beginning of the school year, we set the ambitious goal of having 325 schools register their events on the national walkbiketoschool.org site. Registration closed on October 31, and Virginia had a total of 328 registered schools; 17 more schools than participated in 2016.
As you can see by the graph above, Virginia has come a long way since 2004, when the first Walk to School Day events were held. In the past decade alone, the number of participating schools has grown almost ten-fold. A big thank you to everyone who helped plan and participated in events; keep up the great work!
September 18 - SRTS Event Participation All Stars
Take a quick break from your Walk to School Day and Student Travel Tally Week preparations and join us in congratulating last year’s top participating schools. The ‘Hall of Fame’ schools lead their regions with the most all-time SRTS event participation and the ‘All Star’ schools participated in the most events during the 2016-2017 school year.
Would you like to see your school on the list next year? Be sure to participate in all four statewide and national SRTS events this year: Walk to School Day on October 4, Student Travel Tally Week in September or October, Crossing Guard Appreciation Day next February 14, and Bike to School Day next May 9. Learn more about each event by clicking the links above.
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