Programs

SRTS Covid-19 Resources

Colorado Safe Routes to School is steadfast in our commitment to support Safe Routes to School programs, advocates, and practitioners as we adapt to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a time requiring the utmost in flexibility and creativity as we all explore and modify different ways of engaging youth and families through evolving times. While you may not currently be able to work directly with students in schools, meet with decision makers in-person, or organize community events, there is much to be done to continue building on Safe Routes to School momentum. Here are some of our favorite crowdsourced suggestions as well as many helpful resources for staying focused on Safe Routes to School through these unusual times.

Education and Encouragement

  • For schools where distance learning is happening, reach out to the school principal and physical education teachers to see how pedestrian and bicycle safety and other curricula you have been using in person can be incorporated into plans.
  • Encourage kids and their families to keep moving from home! Use social media to hold contests or competitions that can be offered to all students regardless of their current education models. Ideas might include holding an online poster contest illustrating “your best ride” or “your best walk”, or encouraging families to track their own walks and bicycle rides, sharing distances and frequencies accomplished.
  • Consider creating educational resources such as coloring and activity books that can be distributed to all students, whether in-person or online. Check out the great examples found on the Oregon Safe Routes to School Resources page at https://oregonsaferoutes.org/resources/; look under the Guides and Materials tabs. Minnesota Safe Routes to School has also put together a wonderful distance learning web page featuring fantastic walking and biking activity packs in English and Spanish.
  • Consider working with your school to offer online learning classes students can access from anywhere. For inspiration, check out a digital classroom for online learning from Iowa Safe Routes to School through Google Classroom.
  • For schools in session, the timing couldn’t be better nor more impactful to organize small group walking school buses and bicycle trains. org features a Walking School Buses and Bicycle Trains page that offers explanations, tips, and strategies. Be sure to talk to one another about how to exercise social distancing to everyone’s comfort when setting up networks.
  • Take advantage of calmer streets when available to continue building pedestrian and bicycle safety skills with physical distancing measures in place. The Pedestrian Safety Journey at http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/pedsaferjourney/ and The Bicycle Safety Journey at http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/bicyclesaferjourney/ each include three videos—one for each of three age groups for youth 5-18 –and additional resources that can be used to expand pedestrian safety skills.
  • In-school learning may include new approaches such as staggered pick-up and drop-off times, rotating schedules, and other options to limit contact. Take the opportunity to remind families to exercise caution and vigilance as everyone adjusts to different routines, slowing down and yielding for pedestrians at all times.

Planning Ahead

  • Research the schools in your region and gather data about income levels, food access, park locations, and crash rates – all information that will come in handy for prioritizing Safe Routes to School work and developing grant applications.
  • Review existing curricula (yours or others) and make plans to incorporate them in to school lesson plans next year.
  • Draft messages and materials in advance promoting walking and rolling for prospective events when you’re ready to hold them.
  • Review your school’s wellness policy and other policies and see if they can be strengthened for walking and biking to school.
  • Connect with local officials about potential options for improving safe routes to school as part of the solution to make both school busing and active transportation COVID-19 safe. Look together at possibilities such as reallocating driving lanes to extend sidewalks, closing streets in front of schools during drop-off hours, and adding markings every six feet to encourage social distancing on popular routes.

Helpful Resources

  • Planning Considerations for Walking and Rolling to School in Fall 2020: This new resource from The National Center for Safe Routes to School and Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center describes the benefits of including walking and biking to school and how it can be part of the solution for challenges facing school re-opening plans. This resources addresses four considerations to help guide schools and communities guide in their planning.
  • Back to School 2020, Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming: This guidebook from the Safe Routes National Partnership and the Back to School 2020 Working Group offers comprehensive guidance for Safe Routes to School and active transportation professionals, educators, and caregivers across the nation preparing for and resuming learning.
  • As well as the manual above, the Safe Routes National Partnership has been putting together a series of blog posts addressing how to continue growing Safe Routes programs and support community during COVID-19. You can find links to the developing compilation at or/safe-routes-school-covid19
  • Colorado Safe Routes to School Webinars: Take this opportunity to watch and/or review our recent webinar series, presented by the Safe Routes Partnership and tailored to Colorado. Each provides valuable ideas, tools and resources for starting, building and sustaining Colorado Safe Routes to School programs. Webinar recordings can be found on our Events/Other Learning Opportunities page on our website, along with updates on new webinars we plan ahead.
  • A Safe Routes Back to School Toolkit created by Metro, the regional planning agency serving greater Portland, Oregon, in partnership with Alta Planning + Design includes strategies appropriate for all-virtual learning, as well as those for models through which kids return to school, such as pop-up sidewalk extensions, physically-distanced temporary traffic playgrounds and play spaces, and considerations for school busing needs.
  • Also from Metro, Oregon, in partnership with Discover Traffic Gardens, the Traffic Playground Toolkit supports planning, design, and installation of permanent traffic playgrounds. The toolkit includes site layout considerations, implementation tools and resources, and case studies from around the country. It further includes chapters on community engagement and programming to support the long-term use and support for new traffic playgrounds.
  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation Fitness Breaks encourages movement at https://www.healthiergeneration.org/resources/physical-activity/fitness-breaks, offering short and fun, kid-focused active videos with professional athletes.
  • The Safe Routes Partnership offers fabulous webinars which are recorded and posted on their website throughout the year. These webinars provide guidance on starting, building, and sustaining SRTS programs through a wide range of topics. Moreover, CSRTS recently offered a 5-part webinar series presented by the Safe Routes Partnership specific to Colorado. You can find recordings of these webinars on our CSRTS website under the Events and Learning Opportunities/Other Learning Opportunities tab.
  • Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery from NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) and Global Designing Cities Initiative offers guidance on school street design specific to these unusual times.                                                                               

                             

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal