The Safe Routes to School Initiative started over forty years ago in Denmark to reduce the number of children killed while walking or bicycling to school. The first modern Safe Routes to School program in the US began in 1997 in New York and by 2005 became a national program spreading to all fifty states.
Between 1969 and 2001 the number of school aged children that walked or biked to school went from 50% down to 10%. This drastic change has added to traffic congestion, a reduction in air quality and the deterioration of our children’s health. In 2009, American families drove 30 billion miles and made 6.5 billion vehicle trips to take their children to and from schools.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) was established in 2005 through Federal legislation to enable and encourage children to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
This grant program is administered by the Department of Transportation in the State of Washington and the State of Oregon through their Local Programs Division.
Both the City of Hood River, Oregon and the City of White Salmon, Washington have applied for and received grants for a Safe Routes to School project in their communities.
Bell Design has helped with all aspects of this process including grant writing, engineering design, contract specifications, project administration and services during construction.
BDC is an active member of the Safe Routes to School Action Network in Washington State. Contact us today to find out how we can help you budget, plan, and engineer your next Safe Routes to School Project.