Overview




Applications Timetable for 2008 Awards

     Website active September 2007
     Request for proposals September 2007
     Proposals due November 30, 2007
     Projects awarded March 2008


Register for International Walk to School Day 2007

BACKGROUND

The Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) is Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETTEA-LU, Public Law 109-59), which was signed into law August 10, 2005. The purpose of SRTS is to enable and encourage children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects that will improve highway safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.  Each state receives SRTS funds, and The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) administers the program in Alabama. The ALDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator is Mr. Bill Luckerson of the Bureau of Modal Programs.

The SRTS program allows local communities to submit funding proposals to ALDOT to address roadway and safety issues such as congestion within school zones and inadequate pedestrian facilities. SRTS enables communities to design on-street improvements to make alternative modes of travel safer and to reduce the fears associated with children walking or bicycling to school.   Local communities are encouraged to examine these concerns from a broad based perspective and develop solutions that reflect comprehensive involvement, input, and implementation strategies.


PROJECT STRUCTURE

The SRTS program is divided into two categories; Infrastructure projects and Non-infrastructure activities:

  • Infrastructure projects: funds apportioned to successful proposals under this section may be used for planning, design, and construction of on-street facilities that substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school safely.  These projects usually involve planning and constructing physical improvements, and the project is accomplished by the award recipient using SRTS funds.  A list of typical Infrastructure projects is found under the ‘Typical Projects’ link at the left of the screen.
  • Non – infrastructure activities: ALDOT has entered into Interagency Agreements with the Alabama State Department of Education (ASDE) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to administer the Non-infrastructure component of this program. Non-infrastructure activities include public awareness and outreach campaigns, traffic and enforcement education, law enforcement in the vicinity of schools, and training for local SRTS activities.  Local communities may benefit from these activities in three ways:
      • The agencies may implement Statewide SRTS programs related to safety education, the healthy benefits of walking/biking, etc.
      • The agencies will contact each community that wins an Infrastructure award and offer education, training, etc.  Such interaction will promote safe use of the facilities constructed with the Infrastructure award.
      • Communities have an opportunity to request Non-infrastructure projects through the application procedures.  As with Infrastructure project proposals, these Non-infrastructure proposals will be reviewed, ranked, and awarded through standard procedures.

A list of typical Non-infrastructure projects is found under the ‘Typical Projects’ link at the left of the screen.

ALDOT solicits applications for projects on an annual basis, but applications will only be accepted during time periods specified on this website. Local units of government and school boards are eligible applicants. Private school applications are also welcomed but must be submitted through the Alabama Private School Association.  Private school applicants must ensure that all SRTS Infrastructure improvements are on public property and are accessible to the general public.  All applicants must garner public support and demonstrate the capacity to manage a project both managerially and financially. SRTS projects require no local matching funds, and applications may be submitted in either of two ways:

Send to:                                                              Deliver to:

Mr. Robert J. Jilla Mr. Robert J. Jilla
Alabama Department of Transportation Alabama Department of Transportation
Bureau of Modal Programs Bureau of Modal Programs
1409 Coliseum Boulevard 1100 John Overton Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36130 Montgomery, Alabama 36130 


THE 5 Es

Each SRTS Infrastructure application or Non-infrastructure request for assistance must be developed based on concepts that incorporate the 5-E’s of the Safe Routes to School Program:

          Encouragement - uses events and contests to entice students, teachers, parents and the community
          to try walking and biking

          Education - teaches students and the community important safety skills and launches neighborhood
          safety campaigns

          Engineering - focuses on creating physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools,
          reducing speeds and establishing safer crosswalks and pathways

          Enforcement - uses law enforcement to strengthen neighborhood highway safety concerns and activities 

          Evaluation - measures project activities to assure that project remain on time, on target, and in demand.


JURISDICTION/ELIGIBILITY

The project area for SRTS Infrastructure projects is limited to a two mile radius of an elementary or middle school, and all Infrastructure projects submitted in an application must meet this requirement.  Non-infrastructure projects do not have the two-mile requirement.  All funds for both project categories must be used to improve the ability of children to walk or bicycle to school.  

The basic unit of the SRTS program is the “project”, which may have a budget up to $150,000.  A project may involve more than one school; for instance, the project may involve school cross walk striping for several schools, or it may involve a biking safety program for all K-8 schools in a school district.  Grant applications with projects greater than $150,000 will be considered as an exception based on special needs and merits.  If multiple projects are proposed within a successful application, SRTS may choose to fund only a selected project or projects within the application.  To help ensure that SRTS funding is not disproportionately awarded to high-population or low-population areas, applicants must declare their status on the application as being either Urban or Non-urban:

Urban Applicant: these applicants fall within the jurisdiction of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  

Non-urban Applicant: these applicants fall outside the Jurisdiction of an MPO.  Rural applicants fall into this category. 

All projects submitted for funding must be considered prudent and reasonable and meet the intent of the SRTS program. The SRTS program is designed to focus on projects that can be completed quickly and economically (due to limited funding), and projects must be completed within one year of the award or as stated in the Agreement. Installing an effective countermeasure with immediate measurable impact to a documented problem is an important aspect of the SRTS program.

Additionally, all projects must address the parameters of normal project authorization by ALDOT. Any projects deemed not meeting eligibility requirements will not be approved. Unusual projects will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Urban and non-urban area applicants that receive funds in the initial round of funding will not be eligible for awards the following year.


FUNDING

Some principle aspects of SRTS funding are outlined below:

  • Six copies of applications for SRTS funds must be submitted to ALDOT at the address enclosed.

  • Funding for SRTS projects is 100% federal, and no matching funds are required.

  • All preliminary costs associated with project development (such as engineering or plans preparation) will be borne by the applicant.  Additionally, project oversight costs are not eligible project items.

  • The SRTS program is a federal reimbursement program, meaning all Infrastructure project cost must be incurred by the applicant. Reimbursement is then requested from ALDOT.

  • Leveraging SRTS funds with other federal, state or local funds is encouraged, to maximize the benefit to the community.