Welcome to the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program!
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 about SRTS...
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, travel plan, and non-infrastructure grants whenever they are ready to move ahead.
John W. Corrigan, Coordinator
Safe Routes to School Program
(603)271-3344 or -1980
News and Events:
See our Fall 2016 Newsletter for the Latest SRTS News:
NHDOT Announces Transportation Alternative Program Awards
The N.H. Department of Transportaiton has announced the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) awards for the 2016 competive round. Visit the TAP section for more information.
Sidewalk Construction Provides Safe Routes for New Hampshire Communities
Three communities, in Central New Hampshire and the Lakes Region, are leading the way on new infrastructure projects providing safe walking routes between home and school.
The town of Bristol has used
both SRTS and Transportation
Enhancement awards to build
an extensive sidewalk network.
Construction has been completed in Boscawen, Bristol and Pembroke. Other projects anticipating advertising dates or approval to award construction contracts for the 2017 season are located in Dublin, Henniker, Pittsfield, Colebrook, Claremont, Farmington, Keene, Lebanon, Littleton, and Portsmouth. Two communities, Nashua and Plaistow, are scheduled for 2018.
A construciton worker
gets the soil ready for grass
seeding next to the new sidewalk
along the driveway to the
Boscawen Elementary School. The
new walkway connects to the
community sidewalk network.
The actual construction schedule is adjusted as local sponsors manage the projects through the preliminary engineering phase.
Most of these sponsors will use general grant funds for a mix of infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure projects involve the physical changes needed to make bicycle and pedestrian routes safer for elementary school children, including those with disabilities. Most infrastructure projects involve sidewalks or bicycle lanes, along with signage, pavement markings, and other traffic calming measures.
Non-infrastructure activities include the educational, encouragement, and enforcement programs to foster increased walking and bicycling and to promote safe behavior.
NHDOT continues the transition away from SRTS as a stand-alone program. Most school-oriented projects eligible under SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users) remain eligible the newer Transportation Alternative Program (TAP).
The department limits TAP awards to infrastructure projects. The newer program was initially authorized under the federal transportation act known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and is currently funded under the successor legislation, Fixing Awerica's Surfact Transportation Act (FAST Act). Overall funding has been reduced, and the reimbursement rate will drop from 100 percent to 80 percent.
Bike-to-School Day Scheduled for May 10, 2017; Walking Day Follows in October
Safe Routes to School (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.
Young bicyclists will again be the focus of Bike-to-School Day and Month, in May 2017. Bike-to-School Day is scheduled for May 10. For more information on the national movement, visit the Web site maintained by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. (The link will also be used for registration as the day grows closer.)
Students line up behind a
Walk-to-School banner at the
beginning of a walk to the
James Mastricola Upper
Elementary School in Merrimack.
Eleven schools in nine communities in New Hampshire registered for International Walk-to-School Day on October 5, 2016. They joined over 4,000 schools in 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
It was the 20th consecutive year for the international program. These are the events when the movement takes on its world-wide identity. Enabling elementary school children to walk and ride bicycles to school in places where they can do it safely is a universal value.
“The ability of people to safely walk and bicycle is a vital part of what makes communities thrive, and celebrating a safe and active trip to school helps create vibrant places we each call home,” said Nancy Pullen-Seufert, director of the national center, the coordinating agency for Walk to School Day. “Communities around the country are taking bold steps to improve transportation safety and create opportunities for physical activity in ways that help everyone feel a little more connected.”
"Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation," said former U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez. "That's why we're proud to support National Bike to School Day and we're encouraging safe bicycling skills - no matter the age of the rider."
Day drew a large group of
students headed for the
James Mastricola Upper
Elementary School in Merrimack.
Anthony Foxx, as secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation at the time, supported Walk-to-School day in a video statement:
"Parents and teachers, talk to your kids about safe walking skills.
"Drivers, watch for others when you're using the road.
"Kids, cross the street only at marked crossings. And always look left-right-left before crossing the road.
"Let's all start getting healthier by walking to school. And let's stay safe while we're doing it." Full transcript.
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. Despite recent declines in the price of gasoline, it makes little sense for children to be sitting in congested traffic around our elementary and middle schools. SRTS promotes walking and bicycling 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.
Safety comes first! Instructor
John Thompson of the Bike-Walk
Alliance of New Hampshire kicks off
Bike-to-School Month in Andover
last May with a lesson on the
proper fit for a bicycle helmet.
For information on BWA-NH's instructional
services, visit their website.
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?
Students in Troy formed a
walking school bus last
May. New sidewalks have
extended the safe routes
between home and school.
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.
Such events should not be viewed as an end in themselves. They offer an opportunity to introduce kids to walking and bicycline between home and schol and to 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 walking and bicycle trips to school.
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) continue to accept applications for startup and comprehensive travel plan grants. In addition, NHDOT will consider applications for general non-infrastructure programming in communities that have already initiated SRTS programs or may need more funds than are available under the startup awards.
These will be particularly useful in communities that have already built new infrastructure but need to work on the other "Es" to encourage safe walking and bicycling. NHDOT has recognized that infrastructure projects are sometimes finished long after initial non-infrastructure funding has been used up. Awards of up to $10,000 will be available.
Awards will be based on funding availability as the department monitors past grants that will not be implemented. Sponsors may apply for both travel plan and non-infrasrtucture awards. 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 NHDOT staff and 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
General non-infrastructure application form
(Note that the application forms have been revised. Applications are now preferred in MS Word format.)
Fitness-related incentives are
eligible for SRTS non-infrastructure
funding. This student in Berlin
was rewarded with a pedometer.
In summary, SRTS in New Hampshire currently offers three types of reimbursement funding:
- Startup awards of less than $5,000 for preliminary planning and related activities
- General non-infrasrtucture awards of up to $10,000 per school for continuing programs or new programs with larger budget needs.
- Comprehensive travel plan funding of up to $15,000 per school, which can include up to $5,000 for engineering consulting services per school.
Administration of Non-Infrastructure Spending Streamlined
NHDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are trying to simplify the administration of budgeting and purchasing under SRTS reimbursemnet grants. Please see a new guidance memo for details. The memo has been sent to all sponsors of projects that include non-infrastructure funding. The memo will also be helpful for new applicants for startup and travel plan awards.
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, former president of the HNHfoundation, was reminded of the importance of motorists paying attention to cyclists when she witnessed a car collide with a bicycle. 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?
New Resource for Promoting Walking and Bicycling
NHDOT has published a new guide intended to help community leaders improve conditions for bicycling and walking.
Your Guide to Promoting Walking and Bicycling Accommodations in New Hampshire can be downloaded from the NHDOT Web site. It is a result of a collaborative effort organized by the NHDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee. It explains the advantages of non-motorized forms of transportation and explains the process for taking a project from concept through construction.
April 20, October 19 Training Session for LPA Sponsors
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.
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 the one-day course. Because individiuals (not their employers) hold certification, sponsors should consider sending more than one employee for training.
- Training sessions have been scehedule for April 20 and October 19, 2017.
- Registration form.
Training and certification details
It is strongly recommended that anyone who is currently working on a local program, or thinking about getting involved, download 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
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 January 25, 2017