Safe Routes to School
What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.
SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, these programs help make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing transportation choices thus encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
History of SRTS
To increase opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to school safely, the 2005 federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, provided funding for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) in all 50 states. The federal Legislature created SRTS, in part, to help reverse the alarming nationwide increase in childhood obesity and inactivity. The program has numerous benefits to local communities including reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and helping kids arrive to school focused and ready to learn.
In Minnesota, the Department of Transportation (MnDOT) administers the SRTS federal funds. Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded $10.8 million in funds to communities to support SRTS. The majority of funding ($9.9 million) is for infrastructure projects including sidewalks and crosswalks. The remainder is allocated for non-infrastructure items and activities, such as SRTS planning, education, encouragement and enforcement.
- SRTS Handbook
- SRTS Local Policy Guide
- SRTS Vision & Goals Worksheet
- National SRTS Strategic Plan
- Parent Survey
- SRTS Walking Audit
- SRTS Two-Day Tally
SRTS Helpful Links & Resources
- National SRTS Webpage
- MnDOT SRTS Webpage
- MDH SRTS Webpage
- International Walk to School Day
- SRTS Case Study: Montpelier, VT
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