309 Cranes Roost Blvd. Suite 2000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
In July 2005, Congress passed federal legislation that established a National Safe Routes to School program to improve the conditions of safety on walking and bicycling routes to school and encourage children and families to bike and walk to school. The program, administered under the Federal Highway Administration, dedicated a total of $612 million towards SRTS from 2005 to 2009, with no state receiving less than $1 million per year. The legislation required each state to have a Safe Routes to School Coordinator to serve as the State’s central point of contact.
SRTS funds can be used for both infrastructure projects and non-infrastructure activities. The purposes of the Safe Routes to School Program are:
To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
To 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
To 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 of schools.
Some Goals of the SRTS Program Include:
Increased bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic safety through education and improvements to the physical environment
Increase the number of children walking and bicycling to and from schools
Enhance community accessibility
Decreased traffic congestion/Improve air quality
Reduced childhood obesity
Encouragement of healthy and active lifestyles
Increased community security and involvement of local municipalities, parents, and other community groups, including non-profit organizations
As of September 30, 2012, through legislative extensions, the Federal Safe Routes to School Program has apportioned nearly $1.15 billion, benefiting more than 13,000 schools throughout the U.S. The Florida Department of Transportation has received approximately $29.1 million for SRTS projects through Federal Fiscal year 2009. SRTS funds are administered through the seven FDOT Districts and overseen by the State Safe Routes to School Coordinator.
In July 2012, Congress passed a new transportation bill: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Beginning in October 2012, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities now compete for funding alongside other programs, including the Transportation Enhancements program and Recreational Trails program. More information about MAP-21 can be found on the FHWA website.