For many of us, walking or bicycling to school was a normal routine. Schools were located in the center of the neighborhood, and gridded streets lined with sidewalks allowed for safe pedestrian use. Now, what was once a part of our culture is becoming increasingly rare. Lines of bikes parked on a rack outside the school have been replaced with lines of cars waiting to drop off children. The decline in walking and bicycling has led to traffic congestion and air quality around schools, a decrease in safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a sedentary lifestyle that often lends to childhood obesity
The purpose of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is to address these issues head on. At its heart, the SRTS Program empowers communities to make walking and bicycling to school a safe and routine activity once again. The Program makes funding available for a wide variety of programs and projects, from building safer street crossings to establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle safely to school.
Safe Routes to School is a National Program that began in July of 2005. Federal SRTS funds were distributed to every state based on student enrollment, with no state receiving less than $1 million per year. SRTS funds could be used for both infrastructure projects and non-infrastructure activities. As of September 30, 2012 the Federal SRTS Program has apportioned nearly $1.15 billion to states. These funds have benefited or will benefit more than 13,000 schools. The state of CT is has allocated significant funds for SRTS programs in 2013.
For more information on the history of the SRTS program (Link)
The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) is a federally funded initiative with the goal of enabling and encouraging children, in grades Kindergarten to eighth (K-8,) to walk and bicycle to school.
The Connecticut Safe Routes to School Team thanks you! This is a program sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.