Safe Routes to School Program
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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 1 – The 2015 Non-Infrastructure Grant Application is Now Open
Applications must be completed and submitted through our online application system.
February 11 – 2015 Registration for Bike to School Day Events Open!
Join tens of thousands of children, parents, school officials and many other supporters nationwide for the fourth annual National Bike to School Day on May 6, 2015. Last year, more than 2,220 events were registered for the third annual National Bike to School Day – a thirty percent increase from the previous year.
Olde Creek Elementary School, Fairfax
Over the past two years, Virginia experienced an even greater increase in registered Bike to School events, growing 44 percent between 2013 and 2014! In 2014, there were a total of 121 registered events. Can you help us reach 150 in 2015?
Walt Whitman Middle School, Alexandria
To assist us in meeting our goal, please register your event on www.walkbiketoschool.org. Registration for 2015 begins on February 11. It’s free and open to all individuals and/or organizations planning a 2015 Bike to School Day event in the United States. By registering your event, you will gain access to a variety of downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates, badges and classroom activities. For more info, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org and check out our Bike to School Day page.
February 6 – Results of Fall 2014 Student Travel Tallies Now Available!
Last fall, the Virginia Safe Routes to School program expanded Student Travel Tally Week to include any student travel tallies taken in the months of September and October 2014. As a result, a record 251 schools participated - 56 more than in 2013! Statewide, the percentages of students walking and biking to school have both increased, and account for 11 percent of trips combined. For more Student Travel Tally Week results, including select school division summary reports, visit the Student Travel Tally webpage.
February 3 – New Resource Available! Learn it. Do it. Live it! Working with Law Enforcement
Program staff has put the finishing touches on the latest resource in the Learn it. Do It. Live It! series. Law enforcement personnel in your local police or sheriff’s department are natural partners for your SRTS program. For example, law enforcement can help direct traffic for special events like Walk/Bike to School Day and many departments have their own Bicycle Patrols that can lead a bike rodeo. Read more about how to involve your local law enforcement personnel and find examples from other Virginia communities in the Working with Law Enforcement LDL. Also be sure to check out the other topics in the series in the Resource Library.
January 14 – VDOT announces Non-Infrastructure Grant funding for 2015
Non-Infrastructure (Activities and Programs) Grants are available in amounts between $5,000 and $100,000 to support education, encouragement, evaluation and enforcement programs related to Safe Routes to School. The Non-Infrastructure Grant can also be used to fund a SRTS coordinator. Before starting the grant application, applicants must complete a SRTS Activities & Programs Plan (APP). Detailed information about eligibility can be found in the Program Guidelines and application information is available on the Activities and Programs Plan and Non-Infrastructure Grants webpage. Non-Infrastructure Grant applications are due March 31, 2015.
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