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.
March 14 - Bike to School Day Registration Now Open
Grab your helmet and lace up your shoes, it is time to register for Bike to School Day! Join students, families, community partners, and elected officials around the country on May 10 to celebrate the benefits of biking and walking to school during National Bike to School Day.
Registration is now open, and www.walkbiketoschool.org has a new look! Launched this spring, the new site has a streamlined registration system to better help event organizers plan and register their events and a faster way for organizers to register multiple events at one time. Also happening in 2017, the National Center for Safe Routes to School is teaming up with Schwinn for the fourth year in a row to host the Schwinn Bike to School Day Bike Share Giveaway. Ten lucky schools that register their Bike to School Day events will be selected to win 10 Schwinn SmartStart bikes and 20 Schwinn helmets; drawings begin on April 19.
All Virginia schools that register on their events on www.walkbiketoschool.org will receive a Bike to School Day decal designed to be displayed on a Virginia Safe Routes to School banner. Wondering how to get a banner for your school? Schools can earn one by participating in Student Travel Tally Week in the fall.
February 21 - Non-Infrastructure Grants
VDOT is pleased to announce another round of Non-Infrastructure Grants for the 2017-2018 school year! The success of Virginia's SRTS program is due in large part to the dedicated local coordinators funded by the Non-Infrastructure Grants. The program began with 10 coordinators for the 2013-2014 school year and has grown to 17 coordinators working in 16 jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth.
As in years past, a VDOT-approved Activities and Programs Plan (APP) is required for the application, and school divisions that have received full funding for at least three years will be required to include a 20 percent local match as part of their grant budget for the year. Program staff will again be available to review your draft APP prior to your official submission to ensure that it meets the program requirements.
Once the APP is completed, applicants should submit it (as a PDF) via the online grant management system. The online application will open for submissions on March 17, and must be completed by 12:00 PM, April 17. For more information about grant application, optional review of the APP, funding limits, eligible activities and other pertinent details, please consult the Virginia SRTS Program Guidelines on the Non-Infrastructure Grants page.
February 13 - It's never too early to start planning for Bike to School Day!
Bike to School Day (BTSD) is May 10, 2017 and it's never too early to start planning your event. Not sure where to start? Visit the Bike to School Day page for ideas, tip sheets, and downloadable materials.
Registration on www.walkbiketoschool.org will open in mid-March, and registering your event(s) will not only help us meet our ambitious goal of 250 events, but also ensure your school receives a decal for participating in spring's biggest SRTS event.
February 2 - Announcing the 2016-2017 Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Award Winners!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate their crossing guard. We received over 200 nominations for 71 different crossing guards throughout the state. It was a difficult task to select the six winners below from this amazing group, however, we all agreed that these six consistently go above and beyond for their communities.
- Anne Byrd - Spotswood Elementary, Harrisonburg
- Regina Jordan - Larchmont Elementary, Norfolk
- Sadie White - Fairfield Court Elementary, Richmond
- Officer Vickie Taylor - Galax Middle and High Schools, Galax
- Roger Tally - Hampton Middle School, Woodbridge
- Ana Hernandez - Ashlawn Elementary, Arlington
See photos and read excerpts from the nominations on the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day page.
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