Programs

Resources

Safe Routes 101

Below you will find key resources to aid you in your research and help guide your programming efforts. Please sign up for our bi-monthly e-newsletter to receive up-to-date information on programs across the state. Email [email protected] to be added to the list. Additionally, be sure to check out recordings from our webinar series presented by the Safe Routes National Partnership and tailored to Colorado. 

For helpful guidance on Safe Routes to School in general, these sites are a great place to start:                                                                              
  • National Center for Safe Routes to School
    The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program.  The organization also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation.
  • Safe Routes to School Guide
    This guide is a comprehensive online reference manual designed to support SRTS programs. One of the basic tenets of pedestrian and bicycle safety is that to be effective, safety programs must be comprehensive - involving engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. This online guide provides “one-stop shopping” on all aspects of SRTS.
  • Safe Routes to School National PartnershipA network of organizations, government agencies and professional groups working to set goals, share best practices, leverage infrastructure and program funding, and advance policy change to help agencies that implement Safe Routes to School programs.
  • CSRTS Five-Year Strategic Plan: In August 2017, this five-year strategic plan was developed to articulate how Colorado Safe Routes to School (CSRTS) can comprehensively get more children walking and bicycling to and from school. The goals and strategies in this document have been vetted by a project team and the CSRTS Advisory Committee and will guide the program's efforts during the next five years. An overview of the plan is also available.
  • The Colorado Safe Routes to School 2020 Statewide Program Assessment Report shares the findings of a recent census review conducted by the National Safe Routes Partnership. Here you will find a high-level assessment of challenges, innovations, and opportunities for Safe Routes to School programs in our state.

Program Elements

Getting more students to safely walk and bike to school requires a comprehensive approach, known as the 6 Es of Safe Routes to School. For more than 15 years, Safe Routes to School programs used what was known as the five E’s, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Engineering, as their organizing framework. In recent years, a 6th E, Equity, was added to bring the focus towards creating healthy, thriving communities for people of all ages, races, ethnicities, incomes, and abilities. 

In June 2020, the National Safe Routes Partnership dropped Enforcement from the framework, replacing it with Engagement. The Colorado Safe Routes to School program is committed to revisiting the E’s presented in its Strategic Plan to reflect the value of equity and engagement in SRTS projects across Colorado and consider how enforcement is related to CSRTS. At this time, we encourage all applicants to consider project components holistically. This can include drawing from the “Es” now a part of the National Safe Routes Partnership framework (education, encouragement, engineering, equity, engagement, and evaluation), and, depending upon project circumstances, does not necessarily need to exclude enforcement. See below for brief descriptions of each of these elements, as well as helpful resources.

All Safe Routes to School initiatives should begin by listening to students, families, teachers, and school leaders and working with existing community organizations, and build intentional, ongoing engagement opportunities into the program structure.

Safe Routes for Youth Toolkit: Created by the Safe Routes Partnership, this toolkit provides tips and strategies for effectively engaging young people in Vision Zero, including ideas for integration into SRTS programming, general principles of youth engagement, and more.

Ensuring that Safe Routes to School initiatives are benefiting all demographic groups, with particular attention to ensuring safe, healthy, and fair outcomes for low-income students, students of color, students of all genders, students with disabilities, and others.
Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity is an introductory guide for policymakers and practitioners from ChangeLabSolutions.

Creating physical improvements to streets and neighborhoods that make walking and bicycling safer, more comfortable, and more convenient.

Designing Streets for Kids, from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Global Designing Cities Initiative captures best practices, strategies, and policies that cities around the world have used to design spaces that enable children of all ages and abilities to utilize city streets. The guide includes design recommendations and case studies that highlight safe, enjoyable and inspirational street designs. 

Pop-Up Projects for Safe Routes to School, a guide from Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, explores how schools can use "pop-up" demonstration projects to improve safety on and around campus. These temporary activations, often referred to as tactical urbanism, can be used to promote walking and biking to, from, and around campus. Here you will find examples of local, national, and international projects--including Denver examples, tips to support implementation efforts, and links to additional resources.

Generating enthusiasm and increased walking and bicycling for students through events, activities, and programs.

  • WalkBike to School: Maintained by the National Center for SRTS at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center and funded by US DOT, this site provides many dynamic, fun resources for setting up, promoting, and supporting your on-going Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day event.  Register your WTSD/BTSE events each year on this website.
  • Off Ramp Case Studies: Off ramp was an out-of-class initiative that encouraged secondary school students to walk, cycle, or take transit to school more often, thereby reducing car use. It increased awareness of transportation and climate change issues, provided incentives, and reduced barriers to transportation alternatives. In short, it improved the availability and popularity of sustainable transportation within the schools and their communities.
  • Pop-Up Projects for Safe Routes to School, a guide from Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, explores how schools can use "pop-up" demonstration projects to improve safety on and around campus. These temporary activations, often referred to as tactical urbanism, can be used to promote walking and biking to, from, and around campus. Here you will find examples of local, national, and international projects--including Denver examples, tips to support implementation efforts, and links to additional resources.

Providing students and the community with the skills to walk and bicycle safely, educating them about the benefits of walking and bicycling, and teaching them about the broad range of transportation choices.

Assessing which approaches are more or less successful, ensuring that programs and initiatives are supporting equitable outcomes, and identifying unintended consequences or opportunities to improve the effectiveness of each approach.

National Center for Safe Routes to School – Parent Survey and Student Travel TallyOnline tracking system for local schools. This system provides a way for local and regional SRTS champions to enter and view data collected using the standardized Student Travel Tally and Parent Survey questionnaires.