Safe Routes to School
Welcome to Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS). Click here to read a welcome letter from Virginia's Safe Routes to School Coordinator.
The SRTS program has been active in Virginia since 2007 and helps schools and communities make walking and biking to school a safe, convenient, natural activity.
If you’re new to SRTS, be sure to check out this program brochure for some quick facts about Virginia Safe Routes to School.
June - Happy Summer!
Summer vacation isn't just the end of the school year - it's the start of a time of great possibilities for enjoying the outdoors and getting some physical activity. Here are a few suggestions for fun things you can do this summer in Virginia:
- Go for a walk! You can take a nature walk and learn about plants, insects, and the world around you. You can also practice mindful walking, a great way to de-stress after a long school year. Or, make a walk extra fun with a scavenger hunt.
- Visit a new trail. Virginia has lots of great places to hike or bike this summer. Our coordinators' favorites include the Belle Isle Pump Track in Richmond, the New River Trail in Galax, Hampton's Buckroe Beach, and the Key-Chain Bridge Loop in Arlington.
- Practice safe bicycling. Whether you're exploring a new place or staying close to home, it's always a great time to practice safe bicycling habits. iCan Bike has helpful tips for selecting the right bike and making sure that your helmet fits properly.
Program Purpose and Goals
Shrevewood Elementary School’s Healthy Living Festival, Falls Church VA
The SRTS Program is federally funded, created under Section 1404 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
The purpose of SRTS is to:
- Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
- Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age
- Facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution near schools
In July 2013, MAP-21 (the new federal transportation bill) became law, folding SRTS into a new Transportation Alternatives program. SRTS projects are now eligible to compete for funding alongside other programs, including the Transportation Enhancements program and Recreational Trails program. VDOT’s Local Assistance Division manages the Transportation Alternatives program. More information >>
SRTS Building Blocks
Virginia SRTS has a new framework to guide local programs. Like you, it's goal-oriented, with the ultimate goal of helping more students to safely walk and bicycle to school. The framework has five building blocks:
- Equitable and Sustainable Program
- Safe Streets
- Welcoming Campuses
- Safe Behaviors
- Supportive Culture
Equitable and Sustainable Program is the most important of these building blocks, and the foundation for your program. It helps you evaluate and build support for your program so it can continue from year to year. It also ensures that the program is equitable and takes proactive steps to reach out to and benefit students who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), students with disabilities, students from low-income households, and other disadvantaged groups. Learn more about the building blocks and example activities in this document.
In 2020, the Virginia SRTS team wrote the Virginia Safe Routes to School Success Book, which documents the program’s history and accomplishments from 2005 to 2020. Click here to read the Success Book.
The Virginia SRTS Program completed a strategic plan to guide our work through 2017. Stay tuned for the 2021 update to the Strategic Plan.
Transportation and Mobility Planning Division
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, Virginia 23219