Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Safe Routes to School

About Safe Routes to School

In order to increase opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to school safely, the 2005 federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, provided funding for Safe Routes to School in all 50 states. The federal Legislature created SRTS, in part, to help reverse the alarming nationwide increase in childhood obesity and inactivity. The program has numerous benefits to local communities including reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and helping kids arrive to school focused and ready to learn.

Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded over $15 million to Minnesota communities to support SRTS projects that will reach more than 313 schools statewide. As of August 2013, we’ve received funding requests for over $100 million in SRTS projects since the program began in 2006.

Elevating SRTS through partnerships

  • SRTS Steering Committee includes 27 active members representing cities and counties, regional planning organizations, non-profit organizations, educators and health professionals
  • Partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and local agencies maximizes program reach and leverages resources

SRTS comprehensive planning and technical assistance

  • MnDOT developed a new SRTS Evaluation Tool to collect statewide data on school travel patterns, barriers and opportunities
  • In 2012-2013, SRTS planning began at 70 elementary schools in Minnesota, in partnership with nine Regional Development Commissions in rural areas
  • An additional 34 schools will begin SRTS plans during the 2013-2014 school year
  • MnDOT offers statewide technical assistance through partners Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

Supporting SRTS through education

  • In 2012, MnDOT and MDH trained 35 educators and 20 regional trainers in bicycle and pedestrian safety curriculum from Florida
  • Pilot implementation is underway in eight communities. A curriculum advisory committee is overseeing development of Minnesota lesson plans based on feedback from pilot community educators, students and teachers.
  • Through partnership with MDH, Minnesota Department of Education, and the Bicycle Alliance of MN, MnDOT will disseminate lesson plans and train more teachers beginning fall 2013

What’s next: Development of the state program

  • The federal SRTS program ended dedicated funding for
  • Minnesota is continuing to offer a SRTS program through using state and federal funds through MnDOT and MDH
  • In 2013, the state legislature provided $250,000 per year to the new state SRTS program created in 2012.

Steering committee

In 2012, MnDOT created the SRTS Steering Committee to guide the work of MnDOT staff. The SRTS Steering Committee includes 27 active members representing cities and counties, regional planning organizations, non-profit organizations, educators, and health professionals.

The following organizations are currently represented:

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • Anoka - Hennepin Schools
  • Bicycle Alliance of MN
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN
  • City of Mankato
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Fond du Lac Reservation
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Minnesota Department of Education/Health
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • MN Safety Council
  • MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Section
  • MnDOT District 1
  • MnDOT District 3
  • MnDOT Office of Traffic Safety and Technology
  • MnDOT State Aid
  • Pollution Control Agency
  • Public Health Law Center
  • Red Pine Elementary School
  • St. Cloud APO
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission

In late spring 2013, the Steering Committee underwent a strategic planning process to determine MnDOT program priorities. The Steering Committee also considered SRTS activities that their individual organizations could focus on. Read the report outlining the process and findings. Analysis and Recommendations: MnDOT SRTS Advisory Committee Strategy Planning (Word, 4 MB, draft summary report)