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 next application cycle will be announced.
The Purpose of the Safe Routes to School Projects is:
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 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.
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is a federal-funded, reimbursement program administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA). Eligible sponsors may apply for funding to support infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities that 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 must have a 20% cash match contribution. 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 to those who act against the law. In addition, students, parents, community members and crossing guards learn to enforce 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 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 positive or negative. What needs improvement? What is working well?
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) program provides up to 80% of funding in federal dollars towards the project's total eligible cost, while project sponsors must provide a minimum of a 20% non-federal transportation cash match. 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.
Every project is required to have a sponsor or co-sponsor that is a government entity.
Section 3 of the following link can be used to access Federal Highway Administration program guidance for example eligible project types.
The Current Participant links below provide you with the forms, guides and tools you need to implement a Safe Routes to School Project.
You must complete each form included in this section are required for current participants to fill out. Please choose the needed form from the below list.
Use the following guides and resources while the project is underway.
Everyone is a Pedestrian:
Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum:
Students age 5-18:
Students age 3-16 (United Kingdom):
Otto the Auto:
The Walking School Bus Program: A Primer and First Steps:
Prevent Pedestrian Crashes: Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Children:
A Kids guide to Safe Walking:
Pedestrians Make Safe Choices:
Paul's A-Maze-ing Trip:
An Organizers Guide to Bicycle Rodeos:
Ideas to Promote Bike Safety:
Safety & Educational Games:
Students age 5 – 18:
Organizing a Bike to School Day Event:
Bicyclists Make Safe Choices:
Bike Riding Dangers:
Sara and Her Bike:
Child Helmet Use – Promise Card:
ABC Quick Check:
On Top of My Bicycle:
Materials for Hispanic Pedestrians and Bicyclists:
Bikeability Checklist in Spanish:
Safe Routes to School for Parents:
How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan:
Proven Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety:
Link to OHD book of standards (for infrastructure projects)
Standard specifications for construction and materials:
Link to Bicycle & shared use path guidelines
Link to Accessibility Policy & Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities along State Highways
Guidance for Local Public Agencies and Sub-Recipients of Federal Funds (list of link titles, web address and description.)
National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
Safe Kids USA
Safe Routes Michigan
Ms. Christy Bernal
Transportation Alternatives Program Manager
Regional and Intermodal Planning Division
State Highway Administration
Mail Stop C-502
707 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore MD 21202
707 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3601
Main Business Line – 410-545-0300
Safety Campaigns – 1-800-323-6742
For emergencies, call MDOT SHA's Statewide Operations Center at 410-582-5650.
Frequently Asked Questions
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