Safe Routes to School Program

SAFE Routes to SCHOOL
 



Comprehensive School Travel Plans and Grants

VDOT is accepting applications for infrastructure grant applications.  Each application must include a VDOT-approved Comprehensive School Travel Plan.  These plans must be submitted for VDOT review and approval by December 14, 2012.  An optional initial review can be completed by the Local Technical Assistance Coordinator working in your region.  Applicants wishing to take advantage of this review should submit their draft plan as far in advance of the final submission deadline as possible, to ensure proper time for VDOT review and response, as well time for revision and resubmission.  Comprehensive School Travel Plans submitted for optional review after November 16nd are not guaranteed a review.  

Infrastructure grant applications are due by January 25, 2013. Application amounts must be between $20,000 and $500,000. Each application must include a Comprehensive School Travel Plan. The Comprehensive School Travel Plan must be approved by VDOT before beginning the infrastructure grant application.  Applications are completed online through Foundant.  Prospective grant applicants will receive access to Foundant once the Comprehensive School Travel Plan is approved. Please note that the infrastructure grant application requires a detailed engineering cost estimate for the submitted projects.

Comprehensive School Travel Plan

The Comprehensive School Travel Plan is required for applicants seeking either for infrastructure funding alone, or both infrastructure and non-infrastructure funding.  Both a Reference Guide and Template are available for preparing a Comprehensive School Travel Plan.  Begin by reviewing the Reference Guide. Once you are ready to begin preparing the Comprehensive School Travel Plan itself, download the Template (a Word document). 

Comprehensive School Travel Plan Reference Guide downloadable
Comprehensive School Travel Plan Template downloadable

Eligible Grant Programs and Activities

Safe Routes to School funding is intended for projects and activities that specifically serve the SRTS Program Purpose and that are part of a comprehensive program that addresses the “5 E’s”.  Also, SRTS funding is intended for new activities, start-up programs and infrastructure projects without traditional funding sources.

Only types of programs and projects identified as “Strategies” in the target school’s Comprehensive School Travel Plan will be eligible for funding.  If an applicant seeks funding for a program activity or project that is not included in the corresponding School Travel Plan, the application will not be considered.  If you are unsure as to whether a certain project or activity is eligible contact the Virginia SRTS Coordinator.   

Eligible Infrastructure Projects:

Eligible infrastructure projects must be located within 2-miles of a school.

Eligible programs and activities for Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation, as well as reimbursable costs are provided in the table 1 below. 

Table 1:  Eligible programs and activities

Education

Encouragement

Enforcement

Evaluation

Reimbursable
SRTS-related Costs

  • Creation of educational materials
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety skills training for students and parents (some qualifications)
  • Bicycle rodeo to teach on bike on-bike skills
  • Personal safety skills training for students and parents
  • Health, environmental and sustainable transportation benefits of walking and bicycling to students
  • Educate parents and caregivers about safe driving procedures at the school
  • Training, including SRTS training workshops that target school- and community-level audiences
  • SRTS promotional campaigns and materials
  • Incentive programs that encourage safe walking and bicycling over time
  • Walking School bus programs
  • Bike Train programs
  • International Walk to School Day or other special event
  • Walking and biking mileage clubs
  • Community safe driving awareness and education campaigns
  • Crossing guard training programs and equipment
  • Parent or student patrol programs
  • Lower speed limits in school vicinity
  • Neighborhood Watch initiative
  • Photocopying, duplicating and printing costs, mailing costs for data-gathering
  • Conducting school-wide Student Travel Tallies (counting the number of students who walk and bicycle to and from school; mandated for funded projects)
  • Tracking the number of crashes within 2 miles of school
  • Conducting Parent Surveys (measuring parent and guardian perceptions of safety  (mandated for funded projects0
  • Consultant services for expanding or improving an existing School Travel Plan
  • Equipment and Supplies used for SRTS activities  (some qualifications)
  • Educational Materials
  • Promotions, Incentives or Publicity
  • Printing, Copying and Postage
  • Consultant Services - Education and Training
  • Costs to Employ Area-wide Program Manager:  A position to direct the start-up of a SRTS program for an entire city, county, or some other area-wide division (3 or more participating schools) for the identified non-infrastructure elements in the School Travel Plan.  Funded program managers coordinate the efforts of numerous stakeholders and volunteers, and manage the process for implementation at the local or regional level.  Requests for funding Program Managers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; the position is time-limited and funding should not supplant existing funding for staff who are already responsible for these types of activities.

 

Within the following sets of fundable infrastructure projects, the following costs are reimbursable through the Safe Routes to School Program:

  • Scoping/Environmental evaluation
  • Preliminary engineering
  • Right-of-way acquisition
  • Utilities Relocation
  • Construction
  • Construction engineering

Both in-house and consultant engineering and construction staff time is reimbursable for projects receiving funding awards in these categories. Only projects identified in the target school’s School Travel Plan will be eligible for funding.  Examples of traffic calming measures are on the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Traffic Calming web page.  Fundable activities and eligible, costs are listed below.
 

Sidewalk improvements
  • New sidewalk
  • Sidewalk gap closure
  • Sidewalk widening
  • Sidewalk repairs
  • Sidewalk curb
  • Sidewalk curb ramp
Traffic calming/speed reduction
  • Roundabout
  • Bulb-out or curb extension
  • Speed bump/hump/table
  • Lane reduction
  • Raised intersection or crossing
  • Median refuge
  • Narrowed traffic lane/choker
Traffic control devices
  • New or upgraded traffic signal
  • New pavement markings
  • New traffic striping
  • Drive speed feedback sign (pole mounted)
  • Bike-sensitive signal actuation devices
  • Pedestrian signal upgrades
  • Pedestrian countdown signal
Traffic diversion
  • Full or half street closure
  • Traffic diversion away from school zone or designated rout to school
Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements
  • Crosswalks
  • Median refuge
  • Raised crossing or raised intersection
  • Sight distance improvements
On-street bicycle facilities
  • New or upgraded bicycle lane
  • Widened outside lanes/shoulders for bicycle use


Other resources

The Infrastructure Procedures Manual is intended to guide local infrastructure project Sponsors through the project development and construction phases of a federally funded SRTS infrastructure project.  It also provides useful information for localities considering applying for an infrastructure grant.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School offers a resource for identifying schools locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements: Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals

The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) offer nine instructional briefing sheets for transportation practitioners to use for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program planning and implementation. The briefing sheets are available on the ITE website under Technical Information, Transportation Safety.

 

Page last modified: Oct. 18, 2012