Safe Routes to School

We need your feedback! The Colorado Department of Transportation is currently updating its five-year strategic plan for the Safe Routes to School Program. As part of this update, input is being sought from people throughout the state. This will help guide the priorities, goals, and specific strategies to be included in the updated plan for 2023-2028. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts by taking this survey. Thank you! 

About the Program

All Kids Deserve Safe Routes to School

Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS) uses a comprehensive approach to make school routes safe for children when walking and bicycling to school. CDOT administers Colorado's SRTS program. In Colorado, many communities, parents and schools are fostering a safe environment for their students by using SRTS programs to not only fund education and safe infrastructure, but also to encourage healthy options for our children that are safe for both walking and bicycling.

Why is this program important?

SRTS programs can improve safety, not just for children, but for the entire community. It provides opportunities for people to increase their physical activity and improve their health. It reduces congestion and pollution around our schools and encourages partnerships.

In 1969, roughly half of all five to 18 year olds walked or biked to school. Nearly 90 percent are driven by auto or bus to school today. SRTS is a Federal-Aid and state-funded program to enable children to walk and bike safely.

How to get started

Starting Safe Routes to School program presents your school, school district, or community with an opportunity to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more accessible for children, including those with disabilities. Because the needs of every community are unique, each community or individual school may choose to emphasize different components to make its program work. Some schools have worked with engineering to build sidewalks or painted crosswalks to enhance safety; while others have focused on education or encouragement by starting programs such as a Walking School Bus to motivate children to be active. Regardless of the focus, safety is the first concern. 

Many resources are available to help you build Safe Routes to School programs in your school or community. In Colorado, when funds are available, they are distributed to eligible applicants through a competitive process to develop programs for grades K-8. The CSRTS Advisory Committee that reviews and selects projects for funding includes educators, parents, bicyclists, pedestrians, law enforcement, and transportation planners. School districts, schools, cities, counties, state entities, and tribal entities are eligible to apply. Nonprofits need to partner with a state subdivision to apply for funding.


Evaluating your SRTS program is vital to ensuring your program improves, evolves, and provides the very best approaches for getting children safely to and from school. We encourage you read through the SRTS Evaluation Guide, which provides helpful information regarding all aspects of evaluation, from planning to measurement. Prospective applicants may also wish to visit the National Safe Routes to School Data Collection site, where you can find evaluation forms that will be useful examples for future evaluation plans. Please note, in March 2022, the national data system, utilized to this point, has been closed due to loss of funding. Current work is taking place to determine next steps. We will share new information here as it becomes available. 

We are always evaluating our programming needs and impact on a state-wide level, as well as locally. To help assess Colorado's progress in supporting Safe Routes to School, we partnered with the national Safe Routes Partnership to conduct a review of Colorado's programs, policies, funding, and practices related to Safe Routes to School. Read the Colorado 2020 Statewide Program Assessment Report to learn about the findings and recommendations from this census.

Five-Year Strategic Plan

A safe route between home and school can provide exploration, fun, education, and so much more. That's why the Safe Routes to School program is a vital component to CDOT's purpose by supporting both infrastructure and educational programs that improve safety and enhance mobility through active transportation for children throughout Colorado. In August 2017, a five-year strategic plan was developed that articulates 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.

For more information on Colorado Safe Routes to School, including a timeline of key milestones, please check out our Colorado Safe Routes to School Fact Sheet.