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.
January 29 – Updated Non-Infrastructure Grant Program Guidelines and FAQ Available
VDOT updated Non-Infrastructure Grant Program Guidelines and FAQ documents for the 2016-2017 grant round. The Program Guidelines describe the program and application process as a whole, including eligible applicants, application procedures and information about local match requirements. The FAQ document provides a brief overview of the changes to this year’s application process, with regard to local match requirements for some applicants. Both are available with the Activities and Programs Plan template on the Non-Infrastructure Grants and Activity & Program Plans webpage. Additional details for administering the grants, beginning from the initial notification of award, can be found in the Grant Procedures Guide.
There’s still time to apply for a Non-Infrastructure Grant for 2016-2017! Activity and Program Plans are due by February 29, 2016, and grant applications are due April 1, 2016. Both the plan and the application must be submitted through our online grant management system, which is now open.
January 11 - New Resources Available for Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day is less than a month away! Spread the word about your Outstanding Crossing Guard to local media using our new Press Release and Media Advisory templates. Find them, along with thank you cards, stickers and plenty of event ideas in the Resources section of the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day page.
January 1 – Apply for a Walkabout Mini-grant for your school
Want to learn more about the walking and bicycling conditions in the area around your school? Walkabout Mini-grant recipients work with the Local Technical Assistance Coordinator in their region to conduct a hands-on walking and bicycling infrastructure survey and document conditions in a written report. The walkabout itself is an excellent opportunity for community stakeholders to experience pedestrian and bicycle conditions, share perspectives, and build consensus around potential solutions. The report can then be used to support grant applications for infrastructure improvements.
Applications for a spring walkabout are available online, and must be completed by February 4, 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of February, with the Walkabout expected to occur March or early April.
December 15 - Congratulations Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge Winners!
Seventeen Virginia schools won cash awards for their participation in the fall Fire Up Your Feet activity challenge sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, National PTA and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The next challenge will take place in May 2016. See a complete list of winners and learn more about the May challenge on the Fire Up Your Feet website.
December 1 - Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Nominations Open
The nomination period for the third annual Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Award opens on December 1, 2015. Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to nominate their crossing guard for the award by filling out a short online form and submitting a photo of the crossing guard in action. The nomination period will close on January 22, 2016.
Winners will be announced on February 3, one week before Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on February 10, 2016. Learn more about last year’s winners and download flyers, thank you cards and other materials you can use to celebrate crossing guard on the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day webpage.
November 5 – VDOT Announces Non-Infrastructure Grants for 2016
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 18 coordinators working in 17 jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. To expand the reach of SRTS even further, school divisions that have received SRTS Non-Infrastructure grant funding for at least three years will be asked to provide a 20 percent local match as part of their grant budget for the year.
- February 1, 2016: Due date for optional review of APP by your LTAC
- February 29, 2016: Due date to submit APP to Rob Williams via the online grants management system for approval prior to submitting a Non-Infrastructure Grant application
- April 1, 2016: Non-Infrastructure Grant application due
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