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.
August 15 - Walk to School Day Registration Open!
It’s time to register for International Walk to School Day! On October 4, students, families, school leaders, community partners, and elected officials in Virginia and around the country will celebrate the benefits of walking to school.
The Walk to School Day movement grows every year. Last year, there were a record-setting 5,086 schools that participated nationwide - 311 of them in Virginia. These schools and their communities used the day to build visibility for both the benefits of walking and any needed safety improvements.
Register your school to help us reach our goal of 325 events in 2017 and earn a Walk to School Day decal. While the official day is October 4, Virginia schools can host a Walk to School event any day in October and be counted. Also, be sure to visit the Walk to School Day page for event ideas and free resources.
August 10 - Fall Due Date for Walkabout Mini-grant Applications
Want to learn more about the walking and bicycling conditions in the area around your school? Then apply for a Walkabout Mini-grant by September 28, 2017. Walkabout Mini-grant recipients receive a hands-on walking and bicycling infrastructure survey and written Walkabout Report coordinated by the Local Technical Assistance Coordinator serving their region.
Visit the Walkabout Mini-grants page to learn more and complete the online application.
June 30 - Transportation Alternatives Set Aside Workshops
The Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set Aside is the federal funding source for "alternative" transportation projects, such as those that benefit walking and biking to school. New sidewalks, installing high-visibility crosswalks, and building connections to off-street trails, are examples of projects funded through TA.
TA is administered by VDOT's Local Assistance Division. Please note: This application cycle will include awards for both FY19 and FY20 allocations. If the November 2017 deadline is missed, the next opportunity to apply for Federal TA funds will be November 2019. The Local Assistance Division is hosting free workshops for interested applicants at four different locations throughout the state.
- Whytheville - July 19
- Smithfield - July 26
- Lynchburg - August 3
- Culpeper - August 17
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