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 is authorized under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). Through the SRTS program, funds are available for a variety of projects, and to administer SRTS programs that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades kindergarten through eighth. (Please visit our Transportation Alternatives webpage for more information and application guidance.) These programs are intended to be comprehensive; combining five components, referred to as the "5 E's". These components are:
- 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).
- 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.
Funding will be provided for selected projects, such as improvements to sidewalks, traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle crossing, on- and off-street bicycle facilities, secure bicycle parking, and traffic diversions, as well as 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 selected applicants to develop safe routes to schools plans, with the possibility of future funding to implement the plan.