Kansas Safe Routes to School
Walking and bicycling to school can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle, yet most children in Kansas do not start the day with either of these activities. The Kansas Department of Transportation, with funding from the Federal Highway Administration, has developed a program that will provide reimbursements to local public authorities and school districts for projects or activities that will make walking and bicycling to school safe, enjoyable, and routine.
The Federal-aid Safe Routes to Schools Program (SRTS) remains an eligible program within the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) that was authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Through the SRTS program, funds are available for infrastructure and no infrastructure projects, and to administer SRTS programs that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades kindergarten through eighth. These programs are intended to be comprehensive; combining five components, often referred to as the "5 E's". These components are:
- Engineering – Creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails, and bikeways.
- Education – Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills, and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools.
- Enforcement – Partnering with local law enforcement improve compliance with traffic laws in the vicinity of schools (this includes enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs.
- Encouragement – Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling.
- Evaluation – Monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data, including the collection of data before and after the interventions(s).
Funding will be provided for infrastructural projects such as improvements to sidewalks, traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle crossing, on- and off-street bicycle facilities, secure bicycle parking, and traffic diversions. Funding will be provided for non-infrastructural activities such as public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, establishing walking school buses and bike trains, traffic education and enforcement, student training on bicycle and pedestrian safety, and funding for training volunteers and staff. Funding will also be provided for applicants to develop safe routes to schools plans, with the possibility of future funding to implement the plan.
State Safe Routes to School Coordinator: Becky Pepper
Bureau of Transportation Planning
Kansas Department of Transportation
700 SW Harrison
Topeka, Kansas 66603