Partners of the Plan News:
Call for Safe Routes to School Projects

Safe Routes to SchoolThe Washington Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program funds local efforts that create safe, healthy alternatives to riding the bus or driving children to school. Eligible projects can focus on engineering improvements, education and encouragement activities, or enforcement efforts. Projects must be located within two miles of elementary or middle schools, and a school walk route map or plan must have already been developed to include with the application. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that schools develop a walking school bus program as part of their SRTS program. Schools could develop a policy that children living within a certain distance from the school will not be bussed.

Projects that ensure substantial and long-term solutions or policy change will get priority over short-term solutions. The Governor’s Office and legislature will select awardees by mid December. The Washington State Legislature continues to advance SRTS with these and other initiatives. (More on this coming in the June 2012 issue of Partners in Action.)

Evaluation: Track Record of SRTS Success

Dozens of Safe Routes to School projects have received partial funding since the grant program began. In Thurston County, organizers used $104,000 to develop SRTS projects at the Roosevelt Elementary School and Reeves Middle School. Initial funding through the WA Department of Health's Active Community Environments (ACEs) project helped organizers get established so they could apply for SRTS funds. Then the SRTS funding supported an education and encouragement campaign, along with infrastructure improvements such as bike racks, school zone signs and flashing beacons. Project organizers measured a 70% increase in the number of students walking and biking to school. At the completion of the project, 24% of the students were riding their bikes to school, a higher proportion than any other SRTS projects in the state.

Resources

Find out about other completed SRTS projects

May 4 Deadline for WSDOT Application

Plan Objectives Addressed

Target Audience

School districts, transportation planners

Region

Statewide

For More Information:
  • Charlotte Claybrooke, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, WA Department of Transportation, 360-705-7302