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Project Development > Planning and Community Assistance > SRTS

Littleton Rolling Bike TrainWelcome 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
John.Corrigan@dot.nh.gov

News and Events:

See our Spring 2017 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.

SRTS Featured in Town and City, the Magazine of the N.H. Municipal Association

Written by John Corrigan, the state coordinator, the article in the March/April 2017 issue describes the history and goals of the program in New Hampshire.

Construction Projects Provide Safe Routes for New Hampshire Communities
Consruction season 2017 is shaping up as one of the busiest in the history of SRTS in New Hampshire.

pavement markings in keene

Summer brings new infrastrcture
projects for New Hampshire
schools. Here, workers add
bicycle and pedestrian symbols
to new lanes for both modes in
a neighborhood near the
Jonathan Daniels School.

Projects are either under way or waiting for advertising dates in Colebrook, Dublin, Farmington, Henniker, Keene, Lebanon, Littleton, Nashua and Portsmouth. Four communities, Claremont, Nashua, Pittsfield and Plaistow, have projects scheduled for 2018.

Inspecting sign and beacon near Lebanon schools
Sign of spring . . .
An inspection team checks one
of the new flashing beacon
and speed limit sign assemblies
near schools in Lebanon.

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.

sidewalk base in colebrook

A new sidewalk will soon provide
a safe route to Colebrook
Elementary School from nearby
neighborhoods

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 Month Oberved in May; Walking Day Follows in October

scooters, bicycles and train station

Dover takes the multi-modal
approach seriously. Students
at the Woodman Park Elementary
School started their Bike-to-School
Day ride at the Dover Transportation
Center train and bus station. Their
route included the off-road Dover
Community Trail, and students
traveled on everything from bicyles
(some with training wheels)
to scooters.

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.

riders welcomed to school

Student bicyclists and
the adults who supervised them
were greeted upon their arrival
at the Woodman Park Elementary
School in Dover
for Bike-to-School Day.


Young bicyclists are again the focus of Bike-to-School Day and Month, in May 2017. Bike-to-School Day was held May 10. To register your event and for more information on the national movement, visit the Web site maintained by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Five communities had registered as the day approached. See the department's FaceBook Page for more photos.


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.


School nurse leads bicyclists

Robin Abodeely, the school
nurse at the Dr. Crisp Elementary
School in Nashua, leads a
rolling bike train on May 4, 2017.
It was one of the first events
of Bike-to-School Month.

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.”

“Bicycling is a wonderful way to exercise, have fun and can be a means for some students to get to school,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. “National Bike to School Day is an opportunity for communities to highlight the many benefits of bicycling and promote bicycle safety for Americans of all ages.”

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.

Bicyclists gather at crosswalk near Dr. Crisp School

A large crowd of students turned
out for a Bike-to-School Month
ride held at the Dr. Crisp
Elementary School in Nashua.

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.

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.

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

Walker displaying charms

Charms awarded for
walking or bicycling to
school have been a
popular incentive item
in Littleton. They are
eligible under both
startup and general
non-infrastructure
grants.

NHDOT has expedited the planning process that can lead to comprehensive community programs.

helmet fitting

Safety comes first! Instructor
John Thompson of the Bike-Walk
Alliance of New Hampshire kicks off
Bike-to-School Month in Andover
in May 2016 with a lesson on the
proper fit for a bicycle helmet.
For information on BWA-NH's
instructional services, visit their website.

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.

  1. Individual RPCs review and evaluate the applications following their own internal procedures.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
principal instructs students on pedometer use

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:

  1. Startup awards of less than $5,000 for preliminary planning and related activities
  2. General non-infrasrtucture awards of up to $10,000 per school for continuing programs or new programs with larger budget needs.
  3. 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.

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.

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: bureau.462@dot.nh.gov

For the Latest SRTS News, read our Electronic Newsletters

Updated July 12, 2017

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New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire