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|Minnesota Safe Routes to School|
Over the past 30 years, school transportation choices have changed dramatically. In 1969 roughly half
of all children walked or biked to school, while today less than 15% walk or
bike. This shift in behavior is
viewed as a significant contributor to the childhood obesity epidemic. It is
also estimated that 20-30% of morning traffic congestion is the result of
family vehicles transporting to schools. Safe Routes to School is a
comprehensive strategy to encourage children to walk or bike where it is safe,
and when it is not safe, make it safe. While simple in concept, Safe Routes to
School relies on a diverse partnership of school and community leaders to implement
transportation and land use policies at local, state and federal levels. The
Minnesota SRTS Network is forming such a partnership to identify state level
policies that will support more children safely walking and biking and leverage
the current SRTS transportation funding.
Overarching Goals of the
- Increase physical activity
for children in grades K–8 by increasing opportunities for children to walk and
bicycle to schools in Network states;
- Institutionalize the Safe
Routes to School program at the state level by building partnerships with
state-level agencies, municipalities, and advocacy organizations; and
- Leverage additional
resources and policy changes to support walking and bicycling to schools and
improvements to the built environment.
Network Priority Policies:
- Increase capacity of MN communities to meet Mn/DOT application
guidelines for SRTS funding. SRTS
Applications Summits are being scheduled for Early 2011, timed in coordination
with the next Department of Transportation Safe Routes Application solicitation.
Emphasis will be placed on under-represented communities, including low-income
- Pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum is available to all Minnesotan
students. The Network is collaborating
with Minnesota Department of Health’s Active Transportation Coordinator to
develop curriculum to be made available to District Transportation Directors
from across MN at their winter conference (Jan 2011).
- Implement state Complete Streets Policy. The MN Network will connect local projects that demonstrate
Complete Streets and support local SRTS initiatives.
- Statewide Health
Improvement Program (SHIP) will continue beyond current 2 year cycle. The MN Network supports local Safe Routes to School initiatives
to connect and ask questions about their work.
- Additional Priority
Policies include incorporating
active transportation as part of School Wellness Policies, supporting school
site selections to support active transportation, and identifying additional
resources to support schools and communities to implement SRTS initiatives in
About the Network
Safe Routes to School Network was established in January 2010 and includes
approximately 40 organizations and agencies, all of which are interested in
advancing the SRTS movement in Minnesota. For a detailed list, go to: http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/state/network/minnesota#network.
The MN SRTS Network is
organized by Jill Chamberlain, Project Manager of Community Initiatives for
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The MN Network holds a telephone meeting every month. We
discuss action steps for our policy priorities, identify upcoming opportunities
to support SRTS, and connect our members from across the state.
Along with the monthly calls, the network communicates
additional training opportunities and resources that can assist local
communities support their SRTS efforts through the Minnesota Active Living
Network Newsletter. To Sign up go to
http://preventionminnesota.com/active_living.cfm. If you are interested in
participating in the Minnesota Network, or want more information about it,
contact Jill at Minnesota@safroutespartnership.org or 651-662-2192. The State Network Projects and the National SRTS Partnership
The MN Network is part of a
national program called The
State Network Project, which brings together state leaders to remove
barriers to walking and bicycling to and from school. Safe Routes to School
(SRTS) State Networks in nineteen states and DC are working to increase
physical activity, ensure that federal SRTS funds are spent on quality
projects, leverage additional state resources for SRTS initiatives, and
advocate to remove barriers to walking and bicycling to schools through a
number of policy
Minnesota Safe Routes to School partners, and funding and resources provided by the MN Dept. of Transportation.
Fact sheet on potential legislation for Safe Routes to School state funding.
Print-ready copy of the above article, with an illustration of the State Network Backbone.
October 3, 2012: Walk to School Day
Join schools across the country on Wednesday, Oct. 3 for International Walk to School Day!
- Register your event and for resources to plan and host your event.
You can also use the Walk to School Day Kit from PartnerSHIP 4 Health to organize your event.
- The National Center for Safe Routes to School released a new tool to help communities build and share walking and biking routes to school. Try the Map-a-Route tool for by clicking on "Map your route."
Sign on to receive the Safe Routes to School E-News
: a monthly e-mail newsletter published
by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, a coalition of
hundreds of regional, state, and national organizations, non-profits,
and businesses that are working to advance the Safe Routes to School
national movement in the United States.
The Safe Routes to School E-News includes national SRTS news, state updates, events, and partnership information.
Safe Routes to School
For a print-ready copy of the article to the left, along with an illustration of the interconnected State Network Backbone for more children walking and bicycling to school, scroll to the PDF below.
To view six free Webinars
, with tipsheets, on Bicycling and Safe Routes to School, click here
The Webinars are sponsored by the SRAM Cycling Fund.
SRTS funding in 2012-2013
Scroll down for an overview of Minnesota Safe Routes to School: including partnering associations and funding resources provided by the MN Dept. of Transportation in 2012-2013.
Renewed Funding for Safe Routes to School
(Boulder, CO -- January 5, 2012)
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided a three-year
renewal grant of $2,999,725 to the Safe Routes to School National
Partnership, a diverse, nationwide coalition of more than 550
organizations. The grant will support the National Partnership’s efforts
to advance Safe Routes to School, a federal program that creates safe,
convenient and fun opportunities for U.S. children to walk and bicycle
to and from school.
The grant will build on policy wins from recent years, and advance built
environment improvements in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
This project will result in thousands of more miles of sidewalks and
bike paths, traffic-calming projects and safer street crossings, and
will enable many more students to benefit from Safe Routes to School.
The project will focus on supporting communities with high rates of
Read the entire media release in the MESPA Press Room