Safe Routes to School Program
Welcome to Virginia Safe Routes to School!
If you’re new to Safe Routes to School, click here for an introduction letter to the program from Virginia’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator Rob Williams. And be sure to check out this program brochure for some quick facts about Virginia Safe Routes to School.
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program has been active in Virginia since 2007 and helps schools and communities across the state make walking and biking to school a safe, convenient, natural activity.
August 3 – Fall 2015 Walkabout Mini-grant Information
The Virginia SRTS Program is pleased to offer another round of Walkabout Mini-grants this fall. The recipients of a Walkabout Mini-grant will work with the Local Technical Assistance Coordinator (LTAC) serving their region to conduct an assessment of the walking and bicycling conditions around their school. The LTAC will also prepare a report documenting the existing conditions and the recommendations that emerge from the Walkabout. The Walkabout Report should be used to support specific infrastructure grant applications.
To learn more and apply for a Walkabout, please visit the Student Travel Plans & Grants page. The applications for the Walkabout Mini-grants are due on October 8.
August 1 – Student Travel Tally Week dates announced
This year, Student Travel Tally Week (STTW) is any week in September or October that works best for your school. The only exception is that Student Travel Tallies should not be taken the same week as a Walk to School Day event. Student travel tallies are an important evaluation tool to measure the success of a SRTS program, and the data is often requested in grant applications.
To encourage broad participation across the state, first time participants in Student Travel Tally Week will receive a Safe Routes to School Banner. Repeat participants will receive an STTW participation decal to decorate their SRTS Banner. Visit the Student Travel Tally Week webpage to download the STTW Toolkit with everything you need to conduct tallies at your school.
July 30 – New Resource Available: Making SRTS Happen at the School Division Level
Packed with information gathered from school divisions and SRTS coordinators throughout the state, the Making SRTS Happen at the School Division Level Learn it. Do it. Live it! resource is now available in the Resource Library. Policy changes and support for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) at the school division level can help communities make sustainable, long-term gains in the number of students safely walking and bicycling to school. Whether you are new to SRTS or a long term advocate, this resource has plenty of innovative ideas and real world examples to help further your work.
June 16 – 2015 TAP Applicant Workshops
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is the federal funding source for "alternative" transportation projects, such as those that benefit walking and biking to school. New sidewalks, installing high-visibility crosswalks, and building connections to off-street trails, are examples of projects funded through TAP. TAP is administered by VDOT's Local Assistance Division, which is once again hosting workshops over the summer for interested applicants. The workshops are free, and held at four different locations throughout the state.
- Farmville - July 22
- Culpeper – August 4
- Smithfield – August 11
- Whytheville – August 20
June 8 – Fall Due Dates Announced
The Virginia SRTS Program is pleased to announce another round of QuickStart Mini-grant funding in the fall of 2105. Applications will be compiled and reviewed on:
- August 13,
- September 10, and
- October 8.
QuickStart Mini-grants are $1,000 reimbursement grants that can be used to fund a variety of SRTS initiatives and activities. For lists of past grant-funded activities, eligible expenses and the link to the online application, visit the QuickStart Mini-grants webpage.
Shrevewood Elementary School’s Healthy Living Festival, Falls Church VA
The Safe Routes to School Program is a federally-funded program created under Section 1404 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
As written in SAFETEA-LU, the purpose of the SRTS program 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 in the vicinity of 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 is managing the Transportation Alternatives program. Click here for more information.
Non-infrastructure funding from SAFETEA-LU is still available through the Virginia Safe Routes to School Program. More information is available on the Travel Plans and Grants landing page.
Virginia SRTS Program Strategic Plan
The VDOT Safe Routes to School Program completed a Strategic Plan to guide our work through 2017. The Plan is available for download by clicking on the cover.
Robert J. Williams
Safe Routes to Schools Program coordinator
Transportation and Mobility Planning Division
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219