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Applications are now available online as a fillable Adobe PDF form - click on the How to Apply button on the left.

What is Safe Routes to School?

The Safe Routes to School Program was created by the U.S. Congress as part of a federal transportation bill called SAFETEA-LU. The primary reason for developing this nationwide program is this country's growing epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes. One of the causes of the epidemic is children's decrease in physical activity. To this end, Safe Routes was created to accomplish three goals:
  1. To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities to walk and bicycle to school
  2. To make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age
  3. To facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools
The program accomplishes this by providing funding opportunities for schools and communities to undertake educational and promotional projects that encourage walking and biking options, as well as small scale infrastructure projects that fill gaps in the existing bicycle and pedestrian system. Projects are 100 percent federally funded and do not require a local match.

Safe Routes to School is a reimbursement program -- not a grant program. This means that the selected applicants will be entitled to request reimbursements from SDDOT for an amount agreed upon at the time of selection. The applicant first must spend funds that it already has secured -- cash will not be provided up-front. Any work on the project that was performed prior to the project's selection is not eligible for reimbursement.

There are two main criteria that will determine if your school and your project are eligible for funding under the Safe Routes to School Program:
  1. Program funding is only for elementary and middle schools
  2. Programs and projects must be within a two-mile radius of the school

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