The Safe Routes to School Program empowers communities to make walking and bicycling to school a safe and healthy alternative to being driven to school by bus or motor vehicle. Through MDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), funding is available for a wide variety of SRTS projects and activities that
- 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; and
- 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 (approximately 2 miles) of primary and middle schools (Grades K-8).
Eligible infrastructure-related projects will include planning, design, and construction that will ADA-approved and that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, and may include:
- sidewalk improvements,
- traffic calming and speed reduction improvements,
- pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements,
- on-street bicycle facilities,
- off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities,
- secure bicycle parking facilities, and
- traffic diversion improvements.
Eligible non-infrastructure activities encourage walking and bicycling to school and are made up of any combination of the 4 Es – Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation and may include:
- public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders;
- traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools;
- student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment; and
- funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.
For more information about the 4 Es and resources offered free of charge to schools and communities interested in SRTS noninfrastructure activities, click on the link The 4 Es.
TAP funds are offered through a competitive application process and may be used to fund Safe Routes to School projects. Units of government (cities, counties, school districts) are eligible to apply for TAP funds. TAP projects, and therefore SRTS projects, are funded at an 80%/20% ratio meaning applicants may apply for 80% of an estimated project budget and the remaining 20% is the responsibility of the applicant. TAP funding cycles are typically opened once per year. Visit TAP online for funding cycle information and eligibility specifics, deadlines, guidelines, and application forms. If you think you have a project and would like to discuss it further, contact the Safe Routes to School Coordinator at 601-359-1454 to discuss the project idea.
MDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program offers assistance throughout a community’s planning and implementation process. From an initial informational phone conversation or meeting to teaching the Safe Routes to School National Course, MDOT can help you understand why Safe Routes to School is important and plan for and implement a program in your community.
Why Safe Routes to School Matter
A short video that highlights why the U S has seen a decrease in walking and bicycling to school, the consequences of this decrease and the ways SRTS are a part of the solution. Available online from the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Safe Routes to School: Improving Health, Safety and Transportation
PowerPoint presentation that promotes safe walking and bicycling to school and gives an overview of the basics of SRTS is available online. Presentation is also available through the Mississippi SRTS Coordinator.
Skills for Local Safe Routes to School Program Development
The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released a free, Web-based version of its Skills for Local Safe Routes to School Program Development training. Find out more about the training opportunity online. If you wish, this class may be taught in person for your community partners and members in ½ to one full day. Please contact MDOT SRTS Coordinator at 601-359-1454 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Through this hands-on workshop, potential applicants “walk through” the TAP and SRTS portions of the TAP application. Participants ask questions and begin constructing their application. Workshops are offered during open funding cycles.
Other Training Opportunities
Visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School for other training and events offered.