Safe Routes to School
Grant and Assistance Opportunities:
Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has issued a solicitation for 2010-11 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure projects. Approximately $2.0 million is available statewide and individual projects must not exceed $500k . Projects completed under this program are eligible for 100% reimbursement of allowable costs.
The SRTS infrastructure program is open to public and private K-8 schools with an adopted SRTS master plan. Schools who have received awards under the SRTS program are not eligible to apply for funding until awarded projects have been fully constructed and post evaluation documentation submitted. However, municipalities previously awarded funds may apply on behalf of other eligible schools that meet the program requirements.
Applications for the SRTS infrastructure program are due to SWRPA by Monday, August 1, 2011, at 4.00pm. SWRPA will review the applications and submit them to CTDOT by August 29, 2011. CTDOT anticipates developing a short list of top projects by December 2011 and a final list of selected projects by May 2012.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federal program established in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The objectives of SRTS are to:
- Enable and encourage school children (Grades K-8), 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; and
- Facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
An effective SRTS Program and SRTS Master Plan should include the five Es:
- Engineering: creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding school (within a 2 mile radius) that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establishing safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, and bikeways.
- Education: teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills, and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of the school.
- Enforcement: partnering with local law enforcement agencies to ensure traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of the school (including enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors).
- Encouragement: events and activities to promote walking and bicycling (bike rodeos, walk to school days, etc.).
- Evaluation: monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data both before and after the intervention.