is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School (SRS) is a construction program administered
by TxDOT to increase the safety of the routes your children walk
or ride to school.
you can make SRS a systematic community-based effort to evaluate
and implement changes to transportation modes and facilities around
local schools. Typically, the evaluation will look at all aspects
of community safety and security within a circle with a radius
of two miles centered on the school. Steps
project proposals for funding of facilities by TxDOT can only
be submitted by a city or county. Although any one
of several entities can initiate a project, a successful SRS project
team will involve students, parents, school administration, law
enforcement, traffic engineers and local governments in the evaluation
and planning stages. If you are with an individual school or school
district, contact your city or county officials now! They will
have engineering personnel who can help design and develop your
kinds of projects are included?
is a comprehensive program that looks at all aspects of our children's
safety and security while on the way to school and employs the
4E elements (Engineering, Education Enforcement, Encouragement)
to create change. Recommendations may include
- traffic calming,
- walking busses,
- safety education,
- law enforcement,
- crossing guards,
- local ordinances
- safe houses,
- bike lanes,
- separating bus and automobile access, or
- pedestrian overpasses.
for a list of the projects available
for funding under the TxDOT SRS program. Not every plan will result
in spending money on facilities, some may decide that the roadways
are safe enough and education, encouragement or enforcement is
what is needed.
long does it take?
evaluation and planning process can be as short as 6 months or
may last up to 18 months.
in student and parent habits (enforcement and education) can
and roadway striping can normally be done within six months.
requiring construction of calming devices or roadways typically
take two years or more to plan and execute.
year, because it is the first time Safe Routes to School money
has been available, the time frame for planning has been compressed.
Link to a flow chart of the proposed
2002 TxDOT call for $3 million in facilities construction money.
long does it last?
is not just a Band-Aid fix. SRS will be with your school as long
as the students. Actually, it is important to institute SRS before
finishing the design of a new school. Traffic infrastructure lasts
for 35 to 50 years. It is best to get it right from the beginning
instead of trying to retrofit safety measures.
pays for the changes?
of the changes are simple and can be funded through local safety
funds. Additional funds for major changes are available on a competitive
basis through federal Transportation Enhancement funds. Legislation
supported by Texas Bicycle Coalition, Texas Association of Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and Texas Medical Association,
among others, created a law that requires the Texas Department
of Transportation to create and administer a Safe Routes to School
program. Currently TxDOT has allocated approximately $3 million
from Transportation Enhancement funds to this effort.
do we get started?
is mostly common sense. It is being successfully implemented in
both European and American cities with striking results in injury
and congestion reduction. The first step is to review the information
available on this site. Pay particular attention to the Tool
Kit at this site.
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