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. National Walking Summit 2020

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

    April 7 - April 8
  3. Bike to School Day 2020!

    May 6
  4. Walk to School Day 2020!

    October 7
  5. Bike to School Day 2021!

    May 5, 2021

ITE launches Safe Routes Briefing Sheets

Safe Routes to School Briefing Sheets These briefings sheets were developed with funding support from the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The briefing sheets are intended for use by transportation engineers and planners to support their active participation in the development and implementation of Safe Routes to School programs and activities. If you […]

New Resource on Estimating Environmental Health Impacts of SRTS Programs

The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released a new resource that highlights methods for estimating the environmental health impacts of local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs. Many SRTS programs want to understand the potential environmental health impacts of their work – reducing carbon dioxide emissions, for example, or improving local air […]

Classroom Education

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition and the Iowa Safe Routes to School Resource Center are proud to sponsor the Iowa Kids on the Move Team.  The Iowa Kids on the Move Team is available to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety education and to assist with other Safe Routes to School activities such as bicycle rodeos, walking […]


We offer FREE training workshops throughout Iowa. Our instructors have been trained by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and have adapted the national curriculum specifically to meet Iowa’s needs. To accommodate your community’s needs, we offer a variety of options, including full-day, half-day, and one-hour sessions.  Full Day Session (Approximately 8 hours) Picture-rich […]

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