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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 between home and school has been serving the Granite State for over a decade. The NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT) encourages more communities to get involved. As an independent, specialized program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) helped communities by reimbursing them 100 percent of eligible and approved costs of bringing new balance to our transportation system. Eligible local programs remain eligible for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grants. 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 community is one of many that have combined non-infrastructure programming with new sidewalks and traffic calming.

John W. Corrigan, Coordinator
Safe Routes to School Program
(603)271-1980 or -3344
John.Corrigan@dot.nh.gov

News and Events: Spring 2018 Newsletter

Construction Projects Provide Safe Routes for New Hampshire Communities
Work on new sidewalks, bike lanes, and traffic calming elements will soon begin in four New Hampshire communities: Nashua, Pittsfield, Plaistow and Portsmouth.

They range from warning beacons for Birch Hill School in Nashua to on-street bicycle lanes near multiple schools in Portsmouth. New sidewalks will improve pedestrian access to the school complex in Pittsfield. Intersection improvements and traffic calming should make the route to the Pollard School in Plaistow safer and more appealing.

Henniker sidewalk paving

Construction crew members
smooth new asphalt while another
checks the cross-slope for
a sidewalk to the Henniker
Community School.

Last year, projects were completed in Colebrook, Dublin, Farmington, Henniker, Keene, Lebanon and Littleton. Projects in Nashua and Claremont are expected to complete the program in 2019.

Farmington tip-down ramp

A construction worker prepares
the base for a tip-down ramp
for wheelchair users at
an intersection along the
Tiger Trail to the school
complex in Farmington.

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 under 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 America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). Overall funding has been reduced, and the reimbursement rate will drop from 100 percent to 80 percent.

Schools Celebrate Walking, Bicycling During May and October

Rolling bike train in Littleton

Dozens of young bicyclists formed a
rolling bike train at Remich Park
in Littleton for National Bike
to School Day on May 9.
Their destination was the Lakeway
School. The sidewalk on Pleasant
Street (below) was re-built last
summer using SRTS funds.

Young bicyclists near new sidewalk

Multiple school scattered across the Granite State observed National Bike to School Day on May 9, 2018. Schools are encouraged to sponsor bicycling events during the entire month. Registration remains open until May 31 at a Web site maintained by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The center reports that 2,951 school registered by May 24, a near-record number.

"We see this as a clear sign of the continued demand by communities for safe walking and bicycling options for their children and youth," reads a statement from the center.

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.

Traffic calming at Lakeway School

The Littleton SRTS project included
new sidewalks and traffic calming in
front of the Lakeway School on
Union Street. A new ramp providing
Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) access wraps around a
flagpole plaza where participants
in Walk-to-School Day gathered
in October 2017.

ADA ramp at Lakeway School

School-bound pedestrians will again be the focus of International Walk-to-School Day in October. For last year's walking event, 17 New Hampshire schools had registered, up from 13 in 2016.

Granite State schools that registered for International Walk-to-School Day in 2016 joined over 4,000 schools in 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Last year was the 21st consecutive one 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.”

yellow jacket

The Bike-Walk Alliance of New
Hampshire, supported by SRTS
funding, continues to offer bicycle
safety instructions through
the schools. For information
visit their Web site. This class
was held at the Andover
Elementary/Middle School.

The program in mentiond in a
May 7, 2018 article in the
Concord Monitor.

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 get police escort

Bike to School Month continues
through May. Students of the
Dr. Crisp School in Nashua
had a police escort as they
formed a rolling bike train
and headed out on Burke Street.

Bike train to Crisp 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 bicycling between home and school 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.

Annual Bicycle Event at Speedway on June 6
Kids will get a chance to ride their bicycles around the NASCAR track in Loudon after passing helmet and bicycle safety checks on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Healthy snacks and educational handouts will also be available. The event is sponsored by Safe Kids New Hampshire and Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in cooperation with Speedway Children's Charities. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is located on N.H. Route 106 in Loudon and Belmont. For more on the event, see a Safe Kids 301 flyer.

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.

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.Training for Sponsors and Consultants to be Scheduled in October 2018

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 reimbursement.

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 four years after completion of the one-day course. Because individuals (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 May 25, 2018

 

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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

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