“Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.”

– The National Center for Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School is the name of an international movement that first began in New York in 1997, soon followed by Marin, CA, in 2000.

Primary goals of SRTS are to reduce traffic congestion around schools, and to promote healthy transportation alternatives.

Successful SRTS programs incorporate a combination of the following 6 “Es:”

  • Engagement: 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.
  • Equity: 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.
  • Engineering: Creating physical improvements to streets and neighborhoods that make walking and bicycling safer, more comfortable, and more convenient.
  • Encouragement: Generating enthusiasm and increased walking and bicycling for students through events, activities, and programs.
  • Education: Providing students and the community with the skills to walk and bicycle safely, educating them about benefits of walking and bicycling, and teaching them about the broad range of transportation choices.
  • Evaluation: 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.

EGUSD has promoted SRTS since 2002. Today, all EGUSD elementary schools celebrate Walk to School Day on the first Wednesday in October each year. Many other schools organize SRTS programs throughout the year like walking school buses, remote drop-off, bike rodeos, and bike helmet safety education.

For more information, check out these Safe Routes to School FAQ.

EGUSD Board Policy on SRTS

BP 5142.2 – Adopted in January 2010, this EGUSD Board Policy sets forth support for SRTS and a commitment to developing a district-wide SRTS Program.