Safe Routes to School funding and special requirements
STRS projects are funded at 100% with no local match required. The SRTS Program is a reimbursable grant program, meaning that recipients of the funds will front the cost of the project and will be reimbursed during the course of the project. All costs submitted for reimbursement are subject to eligibility requirements. Any costs incurred prior to a project’s authorization are not eligible for reimbursement.
Under the Federal guidance for SRTS, participants are advised that the funding is to supplement, not replace, existing funding sources. Additionally, states are directed to maximize the available funding. The selection process will be focused on a project’s ability to meet SRTS program goals and the potential to develop long term cycling and walking behaviors. The state will attempt to fund as many qualified projects as possible from the available resources.
Funding for the SRTS program is flexible to encourage innovative solutions; however, applicants are advised that certain projects are ineligible. Ineligible projects include:
- Projects that do not specifically serve the stated purposes of the SRTS Program.
- Recurring costs such as crossing guard salaries, unless there are plans for future funding.
- Projects that reorganize pick-up and drop-off primarily for the convenience of drivers rather than to improve the safety of walking and bicycling for students.
- Education programs that are primarily focused on bus safety.
- Improvements to bus stops.
Applicants are encouraged to supplement the requested Safe Routes funding with other funding sources, but the availability of additional funding sources will not be a factor in the evaluation of the application. Safe Routes funds may not be used as a match for other federally funded projects.
As a federally funded program, all SRTS projects must be in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In many cases, a simple Categorical Exclusion or project memo may be filed. Categorical exclusions are "a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment...and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required".
A project memo addresses the environmental impacts that the project will have to the project area. It is anticipated that the types of projects proposed under the SRTS program will be those that will have minor impacts to the environment. Impacts reviewed in a project memo include: impacts to park or recreational property (positive and negative); impacts to historical features currently existing in the project area; impacts to federal and state threatened and endangered species; amount of permanent and temporary easements needed to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed project; and impacts to water resources such as floodplains, wetlands, and open water must be addresses as well. Additional information on how to address these impacts is available on this Mn/DOT website:
Additional assistance will be provided to successful applicants on how to research and prepare the project memorandum upon selection of their project into this program.
Applicants are also responsible for any and all local permitting relevant to their project. Applicants should work with their project sponsors to determine necessary permits. Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Facilities must be designed to reasonably meet the needs of persons with disabilities. In so doing, the participant must comply with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Additional ADA resources