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.
June 16 – 2015 TAP Applicant Workshops
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) 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 TAP. TAP is administered by VDOT's Local Assistance Division, which is once again hosting workshops over the summer for interested applicants. The workshops are free, and held at four different locations throughout the state.
- Farmville - July 22
- Culpeper – August 4
- Smithfield – August 11
- Whytheville – August 20
June 8 – Fall Due Dates Announced
The Virginia SRTS Program is pleased to announce another round of QuickStart Mini-grant funding in the fall of 2105. Applications will be compiled and reviewed on:
- August 13,
- September 10, and
- October 8.
QuickStart Mini-grants are $1,000 reimbursement grants that can be used to fund a variety of SRTS initiatives and activities. For lists of past grant-funded activities, eligible expenses and the link to the online application, visit the QuickStart Mini-grants webpage.
June 1 – Summer and SRTS
The school semester may be almost over, but SRTS is still going strong! Encourage students to continue practicing their safe walking and biking habits during vacation, and use the time to prepare for the coming year. There are a lot of events that happen close to the beginning of the school year including International Walk to School Day and Student Travel Tally Week, so any advance preparation is sure to pay off. For more ideas on how to use the summer to advance your SRTS work, check out the Learn it. Do it. Live it. Safe Routes Summer Planning tip-sheet.
May 31 – Record breaking participation in Bike to School Day
Virginia’s 2015 Bike to School Day was an unprecedented success! A total of 172 schools across the state registered events on www.walkbiketoschool.org, not only surpassing our goal of 150 events but also smashing last year’s total by almost 50 events.
Two Virginia localities also made it into the list of the top five cities with the most events nationwide. They were Arlington County with 33 and the City of Chesapeake with 26 registered events.
April 1 - Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge (via SRTS National Partnership)
Schools play a big role in encouraging active lifestyles for students of all ages and ensuring kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Fire Up Your Feet helps students, families and school staff make small lifestyle changes that can yield big rewards in terms of overall health. Even better, more than $100,000 in awards will be given out nationally to support active schools. The Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge kicks off in April and May in select states and regions, which includes all parts of Virginia. Sign up today!
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