Getting Started

We’re so glad you’re ready to start the SRTS journey! By this point you have probably contacted your grant coordinator, attended our SRTS Basics webinar training, and are ready to register your school to apply for Mini or Major Grant. One of the cornerstones of Safe Routes to School is the acknowledgement that safer walking and biking routes can best be accomplished through a combination of infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects and programs. These are known collectively as the “6 Es”: Engagement, Equity, Engineering, Encouragement, Education, and Evaluation, and they will help guide you as you develop your project.

  • 1. Engagement

    Engagement – All Safe Routes to School initiatives should begin by listening to students, families, teachers, school leaders, municipal staff and working with existing community organizations and neighborhood residents, to build intentional, ongoing engagement opportunities into the program structure.

    1. Intentional participation
    2. Ongoing relationship development
    3. Diversified stakeholders
  • 2. Equity

    Equity means making a conscious effort to understand and uplift the diverse needs of students, and to work to support safe, active, and healthy opportunities for students and adults in low-income communities, communities of color, and beyond.  Equity looks like:

    1. Addressing the unique barriers that students of color, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, LGBTQ+ youth, and low-income families face in regards to active transportation
    2. Creating access and meaningful opportunities for students and parents to participate in the SRTS planning process
    3. Ensuring safe and equitable outcomes during the Action Planning process
    4. Overcoming implicit personal bias
  • 3. Engineering

    Engineering includes improvements to the built environment that improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

    1. New or improved sidewalks
    2. Bike paths
    3. Improving street crossings
  • 4. Encouragement

    Encouragement, through activities, programs, and contests, provides incentives for students to walk and ride to school, as well as programs that encourage communities to maintain safe routes for students.

    1. Walking School Busses
    2. Bike Trains
    3. Neighborhood “Eyes & Ears” watch program
  • 5. Education

    Education programs are primarily aimed at helping children build their pedestrian, bicycling, traffic, and social skills, but also include programs that educate parents and other motorists.

    1. Bike Skills and Pedestrian Safety Trainings
    2. Educating existing traffic laws
    3. Educating on pick-up & drop-off procedures
  • 6. Evaluation

    Evaluation refers primarily to collecting data from students and parents to assess their behavior, beliefs, and attitudes towards non-motorized travel, and to track the impact of SRTS projects. This allows SRTS to continually improve programs, and to be able to gauge impact.

    1. Parent Surveys
    2. Student Surveys
    3. Participation logs
    4. Community Feedback

Once you have registered your school, you will either 1) Begin the SRTS Major Grant planning process, 2) Visit the Mini Grants page to download a Mini Grant proposal application, or 3) work with your Grant Coordinator on identifying additional resources. Your Grant Coordinator will quide you through either of these grant scenarios.

The Getting Started Handout is a helpful information sheet to share with and engage stakeholders who may be helpful as you decide and/or pursue major or mini grant funding.

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