Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federally funded program focusing on the benefits of children walking and biking to school. Its programs aim to improve safety for children and the community and provide opportunities to increase physical activity. A model program integrates health, fitness, traffic relief, environmental awareness, and safety under one program. Bringing together a diverse group of people to identify issues and find ways to improve walking and biking conditions is the core of a successful SRTS program.
Congress provided SRTS funding to states through the federal surface transportation bill, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) received over $21 million for the SRTS program from the Federal Highway Administration for Federal fiscal years 2005 to 2012. Projects and activities are 100% federally funded; no match is permitted. Eligible recipients include state, local, and regional agencies including non-profit organizations. A copy of the 2014 Program Guidelines and Application for Tennessee SRTS is available at www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/saferoutes.htm.
As of September 2013, TDOT received 255 applications requesting over $50 million. The applications represented a diverse mix of educational activities including major projects such as sidewalk segments and shared-use paths and minor improvements such as sign packages, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals. To date, Tennessee's SRTS Program has awarded 88 projects totaling over $18 million. View a complete listing of the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 award recipients. No recipients were announced in 2011 and the 2013 list will be posted shortly.
SRTS Workshops are held annually across the state to aid in understanding the program and application process. It is required that a representative of the applicant (school employee or city/county staff) attend a Workshop. The next Workshop will be held in the fall of 2014.
Applications for the final round of funding for this bill will be accepted beginning October 1, 2013 and will be due January 15, 2014. For questions, contact Diana Benedict at 615-253-2421 or Diana.Benedict@tn.gov.
Now is the time to get involved and walk/bike our children to better health - for everyone.
Walk to School Day Success Stories