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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. School-oriented local infrasrtucture 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:Application Scoring Will be Next Step for for TAP Grants

NHDOT will begin scoring applications for current-round Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grants in late November 2018. This is the program that now reimburses communities for infratructure projects formerly supported under Safe Routes to School (SRTS). For more information, visit the department's TAP Web site.

Construction Projects Provide Safe Routes for New Hampshire Communities
The 2019 construction season has been a busy time for four communities in the Granite State. Projects wrapping up as fall arrives are resulting in new sidewalks, bike lanes, and traffic calming elements in Nashua, Pittsfield, Plaistow and Portsmouth.

Technician programs speed feedback sign

A technician uses a laptop
computer to program a
speed-feedback sign near
the Birch Hill School in
Nashua

They range from warning beacons for Birch Hill School in Nashua to on-street bicycle lanes near multiple schools in Portsmouth. New sidewalks 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.

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.

Bicycle lanes take shape in Portsmouth

A Safe Routes to School project
has added bicycle lanes to
Lafayette Road and Middle Street
in downtown Portsmouth. Work was
done at night to avoid traffic
disruptions.
Bicycle lane pavement markings

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.International Walk-to-School Day and Month Set National and State Records

Walkers head for the Little Harbour School in Portsmouth

Walk-to-School Day 2018 drew a
large crowd of walkers and bicyclists
heading for the Little Harbour
School in Portsmouth. Students
were kept safe by adults, police
officers and a crossing guard.

Students supervised at marked crosswalk

A record number of schools both nationally and in New Hampshire registed their walk-to-school events in October 2018.

"It's exciting to announce that we just closed Walk to School registration for 2018 and this year’s participation broke all previous years’ participation counts (2018 coming in with 5,613 registered events!). More communities, more schools, more people are seeing the importance and value of safe walking and bicycling to school. I hope you’re feeling that momentum where you are and you are able to leverage it," wrote Nancy Pullen-Surefert, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

"Based on surveys from previous years, we know that more than half of these one-day events lead to changes to policies and the built environment. In other words, events lead to the kinds of changes that increase safe walking and biking for students every day of the school year," she wrote.

Participation by New Hampshire schools increased to 19 this year, from 18 schools in 2017.

A Web site sponsord by the national center provides additional information on the international program and will be used for registering events for Bike-to-Schoo Day in May 2019.

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.

Granite State schools that registered for International Walk-to-School Day this year join schools in all 50 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.

Bicyclists get police escort
Bike to School Month was
observed in May 2018. Students
from the Dr. Crisp School in Nashua
had a police escort as they formed a
rollingbike train and headed
out on Burke Street.
Bike train to Crisp School in Nashua

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. 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.

helmet fitting

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

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.
NHDOT 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 Spring 2019

Sponsors of federally funded transporation projects rely on 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. The department also offers the option of a written test, instead of the training, for certification renewal.

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 November 1, 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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