Safe Routes to School programs are an extension of the Walk to School goal to improve the health of kids and the community by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier and more enjoyable. Community stakeholders develop Safe Routes to School programs to assess the safety of school travel routes; make changes such as building crosswalks or adding crossing guards; educate students and drivers about safe travel and encourage walking and biking to school. Some programs expand to promote safe walking and bicycling throughout the community. These programs involve parents, children, community members, school staff, traffic engineers, city planners, law enforcement officers, community leaders and many others.
In California, Caltrans awards annual Safe Routes to School grants including those identified below.
Infrastructure grants are used to assess and make improvements to the walking and bicycling physical environment around schools. These include many activities such as installing sidewalks or crosswalks, fixing hazardous facilities, or slowing traffic near schools.
Non-infrastructure grants are used to educate or encourage children to walk or bike to school. These activities might consist of in-school safety education, public outreach activities, traffic enforcement, and other related activities. Non-infrastructure funds are also sometimes used for program overhead, including paying for any necessary staff.