Welcome to Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
A movement to encourage and enable elementary and middle school children to safely walk and ride bicycles to school is catching on in the Granite State, and the NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT) encourages more communities to get involved. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) helps communities by reimbursing them 100 percent of eligible and approved costs of bringing new balance to our transportation system. more...
Students shown in the photo above are crossing a bridge over the Ammonoosuc River as they bicycle to the Mildred C. Lakeway Elementary School in Littleton. The school is one of many that have been awarded startup grants, as well as a general grant in Round 5. Communities can apply for startup and travel plan grants whenever they are ready to move ahead.
John W. Corrigan, Coordinator
Safe Routes to School
News and Events:
LPA Training Sessions Now Full
The second day of required certification training for "local public agencies" (LPA) is Thursday May 23, 2013. Training is required for sponsors and consultants. See our flyer and Section 5 of the LPA Manual for more information. Also, scroll down to: "NHDOT Publishes LPA Manual to Guide Local Sponsors; Mandatory Training Offered" Note: the May training courses are full. Watch for an announcement about fall 2013 sessions.
Round 6 Applicants Present Their Plans to Statewide Advisory Committee; NHDOT to Announce Round 7 Timetable in Early Summer, With September 2013 Deadline Anticipated
May 8 was National Bike to School
Day. This large group of students
biked to the Woodman Park
School in Dover.
Communities representing the rich geographical diversity of New Hampshire have spelled out their hopes for enabling and encouraging elementary school children to safely walk and/or ride bicycles between home and school.
The setting was the April 15, 2013, meeting between Round 6 applicants and the Safe Routes to School Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC). Potential sponsors are competing for the approximately $1 million in reimbursement funding expected to be authorized in this round.
Committee members met on April 23 and 24 to review applications and make selections. Their recommendations will be sumitted to NHDOT Commissioner Chris Clement by the week of May 19.
Communities that continued to compete are Bristol, Claremont, Colebrook, Henniker, Hopkinton, Keene, Lebanon, Nashua, Pembroke, and Portsmouth.
NHDOT is moving ahead with two anticipated funding rounds under SRTS as a stand-alone program. The current. and the anticipated final round, will use money available under SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users).
In the meantime, NHDOT staff and administrators are planning the implementation of the new federal transportation law known as MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released its interim guidelines on MAP-21 on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.
Although SAFETEA-LU has expired, funds allocated under the act remain available until spent. New Hampshire is planning to allocate approximately $2 million over two consecutive rounds. (The Round 7 schedule will be announced after the conclusion of the current round.)
The bike rack outside the
Jonathan Daniels School
in Keene was full after a
bike-to-school event in
SAFETEA-LU regulations remain in effect for Round 6 and anticipated Round 7 awards. Sponsors will be reimbursed for 100 percent of eligible and approved expenses. (The MAP-21 interim guidelines reduce this to 80 percent.)
Pre-Application Workshop PowerPoint. This is a useful summary of the purpose of the general grants and the application process.
Address any correspondence about Round 6 to the coordinator:
John W. Corrigan
Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance
7 Hazen Drive, PO Box 483
Concord, NH 03301-0483
Fax: (603) 271-8093
Here is the full schedule for the process:
October 15: Three-week filing period for letters of intent opens.
November 5: Letter of intent filing deadline.
November 20 (1 p.m.): Pre-Application workshop at NHDOT.
November 21: Application filing period opens.
January 16, 2013: Application filing period ends. (Close of business, 4 p.m. for NHDOT. RPCs set their own filing requirements.)
March 13: Deadline for RPCs to score applications.
April 15: Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting with applicants. NHDOT headquarters, Room 114, beginning at 2 p.m.
April 23-25: SAC deliberative sessions. Room 205 NHDOT Materials and Research Building, 5 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH., 1-4 p.m. (Sessions on April 24 and 25 if needed.)
Week of May 19 : SAC recommendations to NHDOT commissioner.
Week of June 9: Announcement of awards.
Construction workers smooth
the asphalt where a new sidewalk
at the Edward Fenn School
in Gorham connects with
the town's sidewalk network. This
was one of the fist SRTS projects
in New Hampshire.
The “general grants” awarded through this process provide reimbursement for comprehensive SRTS programs that use the concept of the “5Es” (evaluation, education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering) to blend both infrastructure projects and non-infrastructure programming.
Applications will be evaluated on how well they can meet the goal of enabling and encouraging children in kindergarten through eighth grade, including those with disabilities, to safely walk and/or ride bicycles between home and school. The program focuses on children who live within approximately two miles of school.
Applicants thinking ahead to Round 7 are advised to review the the applicaiton format carefully and to be aware the new length limit for describing a local program. The Round 7 application form will be similar to the one used in Round 6, although minor adjustments could be made.
Completion of the in-class and parental surveys, a key component of the evaluation process, remain a threshold requirement for applicants. Survey data must be submitted to the National Center for Safe Routes to School. See the Getting Started page for additional details. Stale data will result in lower scores when applications are evaluated. Sponsors are advised to conduct new surveys, especiall if their data is more than two years old.
Here are the key documents for Round 6Expect minor changes for Round 7:
- Application form
- Application form with instructional highlights
- Scoring criteria
- Application guidelines
Startup, Planning Grant Applications Accepted at Any Time
Charms awarded for
walking or bicycling to
school have been a
popular incentive item
in Littleton. They are
eligible under both
startup and general
NHDOT has expedited the planning process that can lead to comprehensive community programs.
The department and Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) accept applications for startup and comprehensive travel plan grants whenever a community is ready to move ahead. Sponsors may apply for either type of grant or for both types. Sponsors may also apply for a general grant without first using a startup or travel plan grant. The idea is to make the program as flexible as possible for New Hampshire communities.
Here is the process for reviewing applications and making awards:
Applications will continue to be filed with both the NHDOT and the RPCs for an assessment of the quality of applications and eligibility of budget items.
- Individual RPCs review and evaluate the applications following their own internal procedures.
- Applications will then be examined by Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC) members, taking into consideration any recommendations and concerns from NHDOT staff and the RPCs.
- Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funding is available.
Startup grant application form
Startup scoring criteria
Travel plan application form
Travel plan scoring criteria
Travel plan format
List of travel plan awards (rolling application period)
List of startup awards (rolling application period)
In summary, SRTS in New Hampshire offers three types of reimbursement funding:
- Startup grants of less than $5,000 for preliminary planning and related activities
- Comprehensive travel plan funding of up to $15,000 per school, which can include up to $5,000 for engineering consulting services per school.
- General grants for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs and projects. Infrastructure funding under general grants is capped at $250,000 for communities that have developed comprehensive travel plans. The infrastructure cap for sponsors without travel plans is $100,000. No limit has been set for the non-infrastructure funding in general grants. Applications for general grants are accepted only during grant cycles.
Communities Participate in Bike-to-School Month: May 2013
Students and their adult
escorts ride to the Woodman Park
School in Dover on May 8, 2013.
SRTS is most successful where it is embraced by a local community. Indeed, the program cannot work without support from school, municipal and community leaders.
Registration is now open for Bike to School Month in May 2013. Visit the registration Web site sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School
International Walk-to-School Day and Month in October and Bike-to-School Month are when the movement takes on its nationwide and even international identity. Enabling elementary school children to walk and ride bicycles to school in places where they can do it safely is a universal value.
“Every child should have the opportunity to walk to school safely,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, who walked with children in Tacoma Park, Md. in October 2012. “Walk to School Day encourages children to experience walk-friendly environments and affirms the importance of walking and biking for a new generation of Americans.” See the blog from the U.S. Department of Transportaiton for more details.
Visible bike- or walk-to-school events are an excellent way for communities to promote the value of these activities for energy-efficient, short-distance commuting. With gasoline again rising toward $4 a gallon, it makes little sense for children to be sitting in congested traffic around our elementary and middle schools. SRTS promotes the idea for children who live within approximately two miles of school, including those with disabilities. Some communities are also exploring the “remote drop-off” idea, identifying locations where youngsters who live farther away can join kids who live within the two miles.
A new section of sidewalk
will soon replace this
crumbling walkway used by
students in Littleton. The
community successfully competed
for an award in Round 5.
Is it safe? Can children get to school under their own power without being hit by motor vehicles or being subjected to violence from adults or bullies? When communities organize to offer kids have a safe place to pedal or walk and accompany them on the walk or ride, the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”
SRTS has long recommended “escort programs.”
“Walking school buses” are made up of children who meet at a safe location and walk to school together with parents, teachers or dedicated volunteers. “Rolling bike trains” apply the same concept to young bicyclists. Both approaches provide safety in numbers and adult supervision.
New resource: The National Center for Safe Routes to School has announced an on-line training program for walking school buses.
A Bike-to-School event should not be viewed as an end in itself. It is an opportunity to introduce kids to bicycle commuting and build community support for the idea. As the idea catches on, organized groups can expand to once- or twice-a-week rides and eventually offer daily bicycle trips to school.
Bicycle Safety Letter to the Editor: Bicyclists of all ages are using New Hampshire's streets and roads for both recreation and short-distance commuting. Sandi Van Scoyoc, president of the HNHfoundation, was reminded of the importance of motorists paying attention to cyclists when she witnessed a car collide with a bicycle recently. Here is her letter to the editor of the Concord Monitor describing the incident, used here with her permission: Didn't You See My Signal?
NHDOT Publishes LPA Manual to Guide Local Sponsors; Mandatory Training on May 7 and 23
NHDOT's Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance has published a document formally titled "Local Public Agency Manual for the Development of Projects," commonly referred to the the LPA Manual. It includes everything local sponsors and consultants need to know in order to administer their programs. Documented compliance with state and federal regulations ensures eligibility for reimbusement. (The manual replaced the Safe Routes to School Project Administration Guide.)
All local sponsors are required to identify a full-time employee with decision-making authority designated as the "person in responsible charge" (PRC). Consulting firms are also required to have a certified person on staff. Individuals will be awarded certification good for three years after completion of a two-day course. Because individiuals (not their employers) hold certification, sponsors should consider sending more than one employee for training.
The next training dates are May 7 and 23, 2013. For details, download the LPA training flyer. (Note: the May courses are now full. Watch for an announcement about fall 2013 dates.)
It is recommended that anyone who is currently working on a local program, or thinking about getting involved, downloard and review the manual. Funds will not be authorized for sponsors that do not have a certified person on staff.
The manual will be revised as needed. Local sponsors and members of the public are invited to submit comments to the NHDOT Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance, NHDOT, 7 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03302-0483. Comments may be e-mailed to: Bureau46@dot.state.nh.us
NHDOT Announces More Than $1 Million in Round 5 Awards
Just over a million dollars in federal reimbursement grants will help 10 New Hampshire communities enable and encourage school children to walk and/or ride bicycles between home and school.
The N.H. Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has announced the results of the Round 5 general grants cycle under Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The program is geared for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, including those with disabilities, who live within approximately two miles of school.
The largest award went to Pittsfield, $260,668 for sidewalks and traffic calming. Troy was awarded $249,500 for a sidewalk as well as educational and incentive items.
Littleton was awarded $206,680 for sidewalk reconstruction and traffic calming.
“When I visited Littleton when their program was just beginning, I was impressed to see walking school buses and rolling bike trains converge on the elementary school from multiple directions,” observed John W. Corrigan, SRTS coordinator for NHDOT. “The community is an excellent example of how the initiative of volunteers and local school and municipal leaders can make a huge difference in getting kids out of private motor vehicles in favor of safe walking and bicycling.”
Other communities given awards include: Lebanon, $97,128; Bristol, $77,681; Hillsborough, $55,599; Durham $30,751; Manchester, $9,500; Northumberland, $8,000; and Nashua, $4,600.
For more information, see the September 2011 electronic newsletter>
For the Latest SRTS News, read our Electronic Newsletters
- List of Round 1 Awards
- List of Round 2 Awards
- List of Round 3 Awards
- List of Round 4 Awards
- NHDOT News Release on Round 4 awards
- NHDOT News Release for Round 3 awards
- Planning Process Key to Success of Local Safe Routes Programs
- Outreach Continues: Contact the Coordinator
- Federal Funding
- Bicycling to school: one path to a healthier community,
Creating safer routes is critical Read an op-ed commentary written by the state coordinator.
Updated May 22, 2013