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Safe Routes to School

Goal: Where it is safe, get kids walking. Where it is not safe, make changes.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are federal-funded, sustained efforts by community members and governments to enable and encourage children to safely walk, roll, or bicycle to school. Federal funds allocated to this program are reimbursable and available for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades K-8.

The upcoming application cycle is from April 15, 2016 to May 15, 2016.


Overview

Purpose

The Purpose of Safe Routes to School Projects is:

  1. to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk, roll, and bicycle to school;
  2. to make bicycling, walking, and rolling to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
  3. to 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.

  1. to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk, roll, and bicycle to school;
  2. to make bicycling, walking, and rolling to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
  3. to 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.


Background:

On July 6, 2012 MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) was signed into law. This Act established the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). The U.S. Congress has since passed a new transportation law called the FAST Act in December 2015, which provides five years of additional funding to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). The updated policy supports walking, bicycling, and rolling projects and programs such as Safe Routes to School.

How the Program Works:

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is a federal-funded, reimbursement program administered by the State Highway Administration. Eligible sponsors may apply for funding to support infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities that enable and encourage children to safely walk, bicycle or roll to school. Federal funds allocated to this program must benefit elementary and middle school children in grades K-8 and are required to have a 20% cash match contribution. Please work with your school, community, county and other public or private partners to develop a project today!

Education: educating students, parents and neighbors of safe practices. This includes being aware of each other (neighbor/student, parent/student and neighbor/parent) and adding simple techniques to ensure the safety of those involved.

Encouragement: encouraging the students, neighbors and parents to embrace the idea of SRTS. Provide incentives for students walking, rolling, or biking to school. Host events such as a walking school bus, walking Wednesdays, walking/wheeling Wednesdays bicycle rodeos and bicycle trains. Other encouragement opportunities include events hosted by after school clubs and organizations.

Enforcement: monitoring the areas immediately around the school(s) by issuing tickets and warnings for those who act against the law. In addition students, parents, community members and crossing guards are provided with an opportunity to enforce the safety. Law enforcement will monitor volunteers and the wider scope of the schools’ premises.

Engineering: making changes to floating and semi-permanent elements like signage, outdoor furniture, crossing areas, sidewalks, curbs and ramps. These changes will slow down traffic, add a safe place for pedestrians and bikers to travel and provide more accessibility for students to get to school.

Evaluation: observing the area to note the existing conditions. Are the sidewalks in good shape? Are the crosswalks visible? Is there a bike lane? Paying attention to where drop-off/pick-up happens. Is it organized? Is it safe? What is the distance between the drop-off spot and the school's entrance? Watching where students travel. Are they biking, rolling, or walking? Is there a path for them to walk, roll, or bike? Monitoring traffic patterns. How much traffic is there? How fast are the drivers going? Are they driving safely? Are they stopping at Stop signs? Note these observations whether they are in good condition or not. What needs improvement? What is working well?



About

WHY SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL?

  • As traffic volumes have increased, some parents have felt less comfortable letting their children walk, bicycle or roll to school safely.

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 85 percent of children's trips to school are made by car or school bus; only 13 percent of school trips are made by walking, rolling, or bicycling.

  • The increase in car trips to schools has added to growing traffic congestion and created gridlock near school drop-off and pick-up lines. This often fuels aggressive driving by drivers stuck in these traffic jams.

  • Walking, rolling, and bicycling to school helps children feel more connected to their community and increases their confidence that school is a safe place for learning.

  • Teachers report that students who walk, roll, and bike to school arrive more alert and ready to work.

  • On average, 100 people die each year in pedestrian-related incidents.




WHY SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL?

  • As traffic volumes have increased, some parents have felt less comfortable letting their children walk, bicycle or roll to school safely.

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 85 percent of children's trips to school are made by car or school bus; only 13 percent of school trips are made by walking, rolling, or bicycling.

  • The increase in car trips to schools has added to growing traffic congestion and created gridlock near school drop-off and pick-up lines. This often fuels aggressive driving by drivers stuck in these traffic jams.

  • Walking, rolling, and bicycling to school helps children feel more connected to their community and increases their confidence that school is a safe place for learning.

  • Teachers report that students who walk, roll, and bike to school arrive more alert and ready to work.

  • On average, 100 people die each year in pedestrian-related incidents.





MAKING WALKING, ROLLING, AND BICYCLING TO MARYLAND SCHOOLS SAFER

  • The SRTS program:

    1. Brings together parents, school administrators and teachers, along with other community groups and agencies, to improve the safety of children who walk, roll, or bicycle to school;
    2. Provides needed infrastructure and encourages children in grades K-8, including those with physical limitations, to walk, roll, or bicycle to school safely;
    3. Makes walking, rolling, and bicycling to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from a very early age; and
    4. Facilitates projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of elementary and middle schools.

  • Funds can be used for engineering improvements, such as upgrades to crosswalks, traffic signals and signage around schools, as well as for educational and enforcement efforts. For more information see Getting Started.
  • Approximately $19 million in grants have been awarded across Maryland since the inception of the program.

Funding

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) program provides 80% federal funds towards the projects total eligible cost, while project sponsors will have to provide a minimum of 20% non-federal transportation cash match as stated in the federal requirements. There is currently no minimum or maximum dollar amount for a request. Potential sponsors should consider the administrative time needed to accommodate the federal requirements for procuring services, design approvals and construction when applying.

ELIGIBLE SPONSORS FOR SRTS PROJECTS

Every project is required to have a sponsor or co-sponsor that is a Government Entity.

  • Local governments;
  • Regional transportation authorities;
  • Transit agencies;
  • Natural resource or public land agencies;
  • School districts, local education agencies, or schools;
  • Tribal governments; and
  • Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for or oversight of transportation or recreational trails (other than a metropolitan planning organization or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible, consistent with the goals of this subsection.

Section 3 of the following link can be used to access Federal Highway Administration program guidance for example eligible project types. Click Here

Getting Started

  1. Gain support from various stakeholders to include: the School Principal, Physical Education teacher(s), Parent Teach Association, parents, local elected officials and local government Department of Public Works. Having support for the project will be essential to the success of implementation. Your supporters can also assist in identifying additional funding options to assist with the 20% cash match requirement.

  2. Determine what is preventing students from walking, rolling, or biking to school. If the problem has multiple tiers then figure out what can be done first and how much funding is available until additional resources are identified.

  3. Research unique cost effective ways to improve and promote the walk, roll, or bike ride to school. Look to eligible activities as a guide to ensure the project qualifies for this program. The following link can be used to access Federal Highway Administration program guidance for eligibility. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/safe_routes_to_school/guidance/

  4. Develop an action plan, a cost estimate and timeline for the needed improvements that have been identified.

  5. Fill out the application, and submit associated documents.

Program Resources

Current Participants

The Current Participant links below provide program sponsors with forms, guides and tools needed when implementing a Safe Routes to School Project.

Forms

The forms included in this section are required for current participants to fill out. Please choose the needed form from the below list.


Application
Guides

The following Guides can be used while the project is underway.


Resources

Pedestrian Safety Education Resources

Everyone is a Pedestrian:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/everyoneisapedestrian/index.html

Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/ChildPedestrianSafetyCurriculum

Safe Walking Tips:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/safe_walking_tips.pdf

Pedestrian Safer Journey:

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/pedsaferjourney/


Safety & Educational Games:
  1. Sudents age 5-18:

    http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/pedsaferjourney/
  2. Grades 4-6:

    http://talesoftheroad.direct.gov.uk/

Otto the Auto:

http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Foundation/SchoolPrograms/OttoTheAuto

Pedestrian Safety Handouts and Activities

The Walking School Bus Program: A Primer and First Steps:

http://apps.saferoutesinfo.org/training/walking_school_bus/

Prevent Pedestrian Crashes: Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Children:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/811027.pdf

A Kids guide to Safe Walking:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/811026.pdf

Pedestrians Make Safe Choices:

http://nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pedestrian/pdf/pedestrianchoices.pdf

Secret Code:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/secretcode-walk.pdf

Get to School (And Back Again) Safety Game:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Bicycles/Get+To+School+(and+back+again)+Safely+Gameboard

Paul's A-Maze-ing Trip:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/paul.pdf

Youth Plegde:

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/7505-12a_Youth-Pledge%20(1).pdf

Organizing a Walk to School Day Event:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/organizing_a_walk_and_bike_event.pdf www.walkbiketoschool.org

Organizing a Walking School Bus:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/walking_school_bus.pdf

Walk to School Day Information for Parents:

http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/for-parents

Bicycle Safety Education Resources

Safe Bicycling Tips:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/safe_bicycling_tips.pdf

Roll Model:

http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/BicycleSafety

Bicycles:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

Safety in Numbers:

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/S1N_Bicycles_812047%20(1).pdf

Cycling Skills Clinic:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Bicycles/CyclingSkillsClinic

An Organizers Guide to Bicycle Rodeos:

http://www.bike.cornell.edu/pdfs/Bike_Rodeo_404.2.pdf

Ideas to Promote Bike Safety:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NTI/SRTS/7505-01-PromoteBikeSafety.pdf

Bikeology Curriculum and Parent Guide:

http://www.shapeamerica.org/publications/resources/teachingtools/qualitype/bicycle_curriculum.cfm

Be a “Roll Model”: Wear a Helmet:

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/8010-wear_a_helmet.pdf

Bike Safety Tips for Youth:

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/8024a_YouthTips.pdf

Safety & Educational Games:

Students age 5 – 18:

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/bicyclesaferjourney/index.html

Grades 4-6:

http://talesoftheroad.direct.gov.uk/

Otto the Auto:

http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Foundation/SchoolPrograms/OttoTheAuto

Bicycle Safety Handouts and Activities

Organizing a Bike to School Day Event:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/organizing_a_walk_and_bike_event.pdf www.walkbiketoschool.org

Organizing a Bicycle Rodeo:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/bike_rodeo.pdf

Bike Trains and Implementation:

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/bike_trains.pdf

Bicycle Safety Activity Kit:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Bicycles/Bicycle+Safety+Activity+Kit

Bicyclists Make Safe Choices:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/bicycles/pdf/bicyclistsafechoices.pdf

Bike Riding Dangers:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/bicycles/pdf/bikingdangers.pdf

Sara and Her Bike:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/sarahsbike.pdf

Child Helmet Use – Promise Card:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/bicycles/pdf/pledge.pdf

ABC Quick Check:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NTI/SRTS/7505-06-ABCQuickCheck.pdf

Bike Rap:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NTI/SRTS/7505-03-BikeRap.pdf

On Top of My Bicycle:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NTI/SRTS/7505-09-OnTopOfMyBicycle.pdf

Who has the Right-of-Way?

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Bicycles/RightOfWay

Spanish,Arabic,& Asian Languages Ped. & Bicycle Safety Resources

Materials for Hispanic Pedestrians and Bicyclists:

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/materials/index.cfm

Bikeability Checklist in Spanish:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/bikeability-checklist-sp.pdf

Prevent Pedestrian Crashes: Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Children (Spanish):

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/noninfrastructure_program_resources/pedestrian_safety_spanish.doc

Prevent Pedestrian Crashes: Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Children (Arabic):

http://saferoutesmichigan.org/userfiles/file/Resources/noninfrastructure_program_resources/pedestrian_afety_arabic.pdf

Asian Languages Pedestrian Safety Information (Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese):

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Pedestrians/Asian+Languages+Pedestrian+Information

Personal Safety Education Resources

Teaching Children to Walk Safely as They Grow and Develop- A guide for parents and caregivers:

http://saferoutesinfo.org/sites/default/files/TeachingChildrentoWalkSafely.pdf

Safe Routes to School for Parents:

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-PedSafety/SRTS/parents.html#

Personal Security and Safe Routes to School:

http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/education-personal-security-and-safe-routes-school?id=4619

Know the Rules...For Going To and From School More Safely:

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC91.pdf

Personal Security and Safe Routes to School:

http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/events-and-training/srts-webinars/personal-security-and-safe-routes-school

Bullying Prevention:

http://www.stopbullying.gov/

Walking and Biking Safety Assessment Resources

Walkability Checklist

http://fireupyourfeet.org/assets/docs/resources/walkability_checklist.pdf

Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists:

http://katana.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/PedRSA.reduced.pdf

Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System:

http://www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe/

Bicycle Safety Countermeasure Selection System:

http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe/about.cfm

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan:

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_focus/docs/fhwasa0512.pdf

Proven Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/12marapr/04.cfm

Encouragement Programs

How to Plan a Walk to School Day Event:

http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/get-set/how-to-plan-a-walk-to-school-day-event

Building a SRTS Bike Brigade:

http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/training/srts-webinars/building-srts-bike-brigade-tips-getting-started-and-spreading-success

Mileage Clubs:

http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/encouragement/mileage_clubs_and_contests.cfm

Resources for Engineers and Planners

Link to OHD book of standards (for infrastructure projects) Standard specifications for construction and materials:

http://www.roads.maryland.gov/ohd/frontpage.pdf

Link to Bicycle & shared use path guidelines

http://www.roads.maryland.gov/OHD2/Bike_Policy_and_Design_Guide.pdf

Link to Accessibility Policy & Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities along State Highways

http://www.roads.maryland.gov/ohd/adafinal.pdf

Steps to a Walkable Community:

http://americawalks.org/walksteps/ Miscellaneous

Guidance for Local Public Agencies and Sub-Recipients of Federal Funds (list of link titles, web address and description.)

http://www.roads.maryland.gov/pages/bos.aspx?PageId=855&ctype=1

References

National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS)


The Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Safe Kids USA

Safe Routes Michigan

Contact Information

Ms. Jessica Shearer
Transportation Alternatives Program Manager
Regional and Intermodal Planning Division
State Highway Administration
Mail Stop C-502
707 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore MD 21202
Phone: 410-545-5653
Fax: 410-209-5025
E-mail: jshearer@sha.state.md.us

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