Safe Routes to School

The School District - Public Transit Coordination in the Dallas-Fort Worth Region report provides information and tools to facilitate coordination between school districts and public transit agencies. The report includes benefits of school district and public transit agency coordination, ways that schools and public transit agencies can partner and share resources, and strategies to overcome barriers to coordination.  The publication is now available:
School District - Public Transit Coordination in the Dallas Fort Worth Region   

Safe Routes to School logo with pictures of kids walking and riding a bike.
NCTCOG's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is focused on encouraging and enabling more children to safely walk and bicycle to school, thereby improving student health, traffic congestion, safety, and air quality around schools. NCTCOG supports SRTS with funding, encouragement, education, and planning.  Check out our brochure for more information (also available in Spanish).

For information about school siting in the region, see School Site Planning & Access web page. 

Quick Facts:
  • The percentage of students that walk or bicycle to school has dropped from a national average of 48 percent in 1969 to just 13 percent in 2009, and to 10 percent in 2017.1,2
  • Vehicle trips to K-12 schools account for 10 to 14 percent of traffic during the morning commute.1
  • SRTS engineering, education, and encouragement interventions have been shown to decrease pedestrian injury rates by 44 percent, and increase walking and biking rates by 25 percent.3, 4
  • If 100 children at one school walked or bicycled instead of being driven every day for one school year, they would keep nearly 35,000 pounds of pollutants out of the air.5
 

(Click on the blue panels below to expand)

NCTCOG periodically funds SRTS infrastructure projects, such as sidewalks and crosswalks, through  Transportation Alternatives calls for projects.
Under the 2020 call for projects, nearly $7 million was awarded to 7 SRTS projects.
Under the 2017 call for projects, $12.2 million was awarded to 22 SRTS projects.
Under the 2014 call for projects, $5.7 million was awarded to 13 SRTS projects.

These improvements will provide better access to 42 elementary and middle schools across the region.  Visit the Bicycle-Pedestrian Funding Opportunities web page for more information.

 

2019 Safe Routes to School Regional Training

More than 60 engineers, planners, local government and school district officials attended the SRTS Regional Training hosted by NCTCOG in May 2019, led by instructors from Toole Design. The presentations and handouts from the training can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Presentations:

Handouts:
 

Walk to School Day is an annual event that brings together schools and communities to raise awareness about the importance of traffic safety, and the fun and health benefits of walking. It has become a global event that occurs yearly on the first Wednesday in October.
 
In 2019, NCTCOG promoted Walk to School Day by providing planning resources and free prizes to participating schools. More than 95 schools in North Texas held events.  Check out the resources below to help keep you walking and rolling all year long.

Keep Walking!
Make every day Walk to School Day! Examples of ongoing activities include Walking School Buses (check out this one in Fort Worth!), and Golden Sneaker Programs.

Organizer Resources

 

The National Walk and Bike to School Day website offers great resources that are free to download.

School Curriculum (free)
Go to LookOutTexans.org to download a free School Kit for teaching 3rd - 8th grades about pedestrian and bicycle safety. The School Kits were created with input from North Texas educators, and were designed to support the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards for physical and health education.

Additional parent and teacher resources are available for download:

Tips for Safe Bicycling & Walking Behavior

School Zone Safety Tips (Spanish)

Staff Contact: Erin Curry 
1. National Center for Safe Routes to School. (2011). How children get to school: School travel patterns from 1969 to 2009.
2. Federal Highway Administration. (2019). Children's Travel to School: 2017 National Household Travel Survey
3. Di Maggio & Guohua. (2013). Effectiveness of a safe routes to school program in preventing school-aged pedestrian injury. Pediatrics. 131(2), 290-296.
4.  McDonald et. al. (2014). Impact of the safe routes to school program on walking and bicycling. Journal of the American Planning Association, 80(2), 153-167.
5. National Center for Safe Routes to School Task Force. (2008). Safe Routes to School: A Transportation Legacy - A National Strategy to Increase Safety and Physical Activity among American Youth.