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Safe routes
to School

The National Center for Safe Routes to School framework reccommends six categories for analyzing issues and developing strategies. These are called the 6 E's.  


Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement that promotes walking and biking to school. SRTS began in the 1970s in Denmark in response to and alarming number of child injuries and fatalities due to vehicle-pedestrian accidents.  In 1997, SRTS finally reached the United States when The Bronx, New York City received local funds to implement a SRTS Program. In 2005, Congress recognized the importance of these programs and consequently signed a federally funded SRTS program into law.


Funding sources vary widely in their eligibility and magnitude. Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a primary source for those projects that address SRTS focus on biking and walking safety and encouragement. This funding is a 80/20 grant, meaning that 80% is funded through the grant and 20% of total funding is matched by the local community. Both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects are eligible. 

The 6 E's Framework


All SRTS initiatives should begin by listening to students, families, teachers, and school leaders and working with existing community organizations, and build intentional, ongoing engagement opportunities into the program structure


It is important that work supports safe, active, and healthy opportunities for children and adults in lower-income neighborhoods, people with disabilities, minorities, and beyond. 


Problems with the physical environment around schools such as damaged or missing sidewalks, high traffic speeds, or unsafe crosswalks prevent children from walking and biking safely and easily to and from school. Improving the physical environment near schools is necessary for a successful SRTS program. 


Convincing children as well as parents and guardians, that walking and biking to school is safe, fun, and healthy can be a difficult task, especially since changing habits may challenge a parent's already busy schedule or established routine. 


Children and parents need to learn about biking and walking safety and about the benefits of walking and biking to school. Equally important is educating drivers about safe driving around schools. These programs help everyone think about safety first.


Assessing which approaches are more or less successful, ensuring that programs and initiatives are supporting equitable outcomes, and identifying unintended consequences or opportunities to improve the effectiveness of each approach are essential in implementing an effective SRTS plan. 

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