Safe Routes to School
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program enables and encourages children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school safely. The program sets out to make walking and bicycling a more appealing transportation option for students in grades kindergarten through eighth, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
Forty years ago, roughly half of all children ages five to 18 years old walked and bicycled to school. Today, 85% of our children are driven to school either by bus or private vehicle. Approximately 25% of the country’s morning traffic is private vehicles driving children to school. The result? Increased traffic congestion, a reduction in air quality and the deterioration of our children’s health. And in Mississippi, 4 out of 10 of our children are at-risk of becoming overweight or are overweight and obese.
Our goal is to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of primary and middle schools while making active transportation a viable option to travel to school.
Through available federal funds, communities can stage a wide variety of projects and activities from building safer street crossings to establishing programs that encourage and educate children and their parents to safely walk and bicycle to school. The overarching result? Healthier kids and healthier communities.