About Safe Routes

What is Safe Routes to School (SRTS)?

SRTS is a rising international effort to increase safety and promote walking and bicycling to school through the “6Es: engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, evaluation, and equity.” The 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) federal transportation bill included a new SRTS federal funding source of $612 million over five years for both infrastructure and noninfrastructure reimbursement grants. SRTS projects continue to be eligible for funding through MAP-21’s Transportation Alternatives Program.

*Iowa DOT

Reasons for the program

During the past two to three decades, there has been an incredible rise in obesity and physical inactivity in children and adults. The impact on health and health-care costs is high and will continue to rise dramatically. In 1969, roughly half of all children walked or biked to school. Now, it is about 15 percent. For school trips less than 1 mile, 29 percent walk or bike.
There is a strong correlation between communities with good bicycle and pedestrian environments, and having more active residents. Air quality and traffic congestion around schools has also become an issue.

*Iowa DOT

Iowa Safe Routes to School is here for YOUR school and community

The Iowa Safe Routes to School program is one of the most important programs a school can develop for its community. Our non-infrastructure program provides ways for children to get more physical activity thus generating better health, increased safety for children, less traffic, and a greater sense of community. The mission of the Iowa Safe Routes to School program is to increase the number of children walking and biking to school. Our initiative builds a larger focus on health, safety, traffic relief, and environmental awareness. We’re given the opportunity to work closely with schools, communities, and local officials to promote healthy lifestyles for children. Our program consists of  five focus areas:

Evaluation- Monitoring and documenting data around schools and within communities

Engineering- Discussing ways to create operational and physical improvement to infrastructure surrounding the school. The goal for changing infrastructure is to establish a safer walking environment for students traveling to school by establishing safer crossings and walk/ bike ways for travel.

Education- Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instilling lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills.

Encouragement- Using events and activities to promote walking and biking and to generate enthusiasm for program with students, parents, staff, and community.

Enforcement- Partnering with local law enforcement to ensure traffic laws are obeyed and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs.

Equity- Work to support safe, active, and healthy opportunities for children and adults in low-income communities, communities of color, and beyond.

For more information on building programs in your community please contact Jared at jared@iowabike.org

 

Upcoming Safe Routes to School Events

  1. Iowa Safe Routes to Schools 2020 Conference

    January 23, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
  2. National Walking Summit 2020

    March 10, 2020 - March 11, 2020
  3. Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health 2020

    April 7, 2020 - April 8, 2020
  4. Bike to School Day 2020!

    May 6, 2020
  5. Walk to School Day 2020!

    October 7, 2020

It’s been a month.

Greetings, My name is Jared Morford and I’m the new Iowa Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS), Program Manager. I’ve been on the job for the last month now and I thought I would check-in.  So what have I been doing? I’ve been meeting with stakeholders, attending the Iowa Trails Summit, planning the Iowa Safe Routes […]

2019 Safe Routes to School Conference

  Register Here!   The Iowa Safe Routes to School conference is an annual conference providing insight, idea sharing, education, and programming. 6 years running, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition brings together partners and collaborators from across the state to coalless, learn, share ideas and best practices from advocates, and professionals. This year the Iowa Safe Routes […]

Superstar Alert!

Community Volunteer Spotlight by April Bril Safe Routes to School coordinator Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission   “Be the change you wish to see in the world” -Gandhi This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and I think it describes our amazing volunteer Julie Fischer perfectly. Julie has been helping kids in our community walk safely […]

Storm Lake and Cherokee

This photo was taken lakeside at Chatauqua Park, near downtown Storm Lake, minutes before the snow started to fly. Iowa Safe Routes to School (SRTS) spent some time in the surrounding areas recently making an effort to introduce communities in Northwest/ North Central Iowa to our program. So, we set up a few meetings, reserved a […]

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