The SRTS Planning Process at a Distance

Our team has outlined modifications to the planning process so schools can continue to build momentum while communities are social distancing. These modifications are meant to help, not detract from the process. The planning process should engage the same individuals involved in the in-person process, including:
  • Parents
  • Students, Teachers, and School staff
  • Residents
  • City officials and staff
  • Local law enforcement
  • Non-profit staff
  • Other community members

Kick-off Meeting

Kick-off meetings can be held remotely through video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Free Conference Call, or other services. To ensure good community engagement, we recommend doing one or more of the following throughout the planning process:

  • Host an accessible webpage on the school or municipalities website that conveys information specific to your SRTS project.
  • Mail postcards to neighborhood residents and parents with details about how they can participate.
  • Identify a point person who can accept phone calls or emails from those who want to provide input for the project, (this is especially important when community members could have limited internet access for attending video conference meetings).
  • Distribute the SRTS kick-off survey for community members to respond to on your website, social media, or other platforms. Contact Operations Coordinator Colleen Synk to provide you obtain this information.
  • Encourage student involvement in any online meetings or future walking audits – capture their input and feedback just like you would with adults.

Walking Audits from a Distance

Traditional SRTS walking audits usually start outs with a group of the committee and community members at the school. That group generally splits off into smaller groups to assess current and potential walking and biking routes to school.


As communities continue to social distance, we encourage schools and municipalities to hold walking and biking audits by allowing family units to do so independently. Here are some suggestions on how to do so from an online platform:
  • Schools and/or the municipality can post a map of walking & biking routes online, along with walking audit documents – (this is where the hosted webpage comes in handy). Families can then “take a route” and take pictures and notes and post them on a collaborative platform such as Google Drive. The local champion(s) can then pull information from the route audits and work with their Grant Coordinator to identify the biggest issues along each route.
  • Provide a non-constrictive or open-ended time frame to provide feedback. Consider giving families and individuals a timeline of a week or two to do their walking audit.
  • Keep in mind other platforms such as walking apps like Map My Walk or Google Maps can be used, but they may not be as easily accessible.
  • Due to social distancing, include instructions about how to submit forms locally at a designated drop off point, or electronically.

Parent and Student Surveys

We understand that some schools want to continue to conduct surveys. If you have access to reach parents and students, you are welcome to use the Parent and Student Surveys. We will still ask that you work to achieve the same standard of responses that we ask for during a regular school year. If this does not work well for your school, we would encourage you to proceed with surveys after the new school year has begun.

Travel tallies cannot take place virtually, wait until school resumes to conduct your travel tallies in person, during class.

Action Plan Meeting

The action plan meeting can be held over a virtual platform such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or GoToMeeting much like the initial kick-off meeting. When hosting this meeting, you’ll want to keep in mind that committee members should spend time ranking the infrastructure and non-infrastructure priorities from the issues that were identified during the surveys and the walking audits. Using a platform or application to capture feedback, such as voting polls, can help with this process.

Much like in-person meetings, we encourage this to take place over several sessions to get the most feedback possible. Again, the committee and community members should have the ability to call or email their thoughts after each meeting.

Use survey and polling software to document feedback during or after an action plan meeting.

Remember, these are suggestions to help your community continue working towards a SRTS project while safely socially distancing.


Please talk with your Grant Coordinator if any of these modifications do not work well for your community, or if you have any questions or suggestions. We will provide updates when we have more recommendations.

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