Safe Routes to School
About Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a movement dedicated to making it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school.
Local communities do this through a comprehensive approach that incorporates the six E’s of SRTS: engagement, equity, engineering, encouragement, education and evaluation.
To date, more than 17,400 schools and 6.8 million students nationally have benefited from SRTS projects and programs.
Developing an Action Plan
In Orange County, OCTA and the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) are leading the SRTS Action Plan that serves every school and school district with a series of steps to advance more SRTS improvements and activities.
Caltrans provides funding for this project.
The SRTS Action Plan:
Supports and expands current SRTS work underway by countywide stakeholders.
Outlines specific ways to improve traffic safety and supports more walking and bicycling through education, partnerships, programs and infrastructure improvements.
Establishes a countywide program structure that will support SRTS programs in school districts and at schools.
Defines roles and next steps for ongoing and potential stakeholders.
Identifies potential funding sources for specific action items.
For more information about the Safe Routes to School Action Plan, contact Rebecca Miller at RMiller@ochca.com.
Find Ways to Get Involved
SRTS relies on many people to make it successful. Parents, teachers, school staff and all others can support and advance SRTS.
City or School staff can make SRTS program information accessible and available to their communities through presentations, info sessions, and digital outreach and participate in walk and bike to school day events.
School champions can organize interested students and staff and plan walk audits to evaluate the safety and accessibility around your school.
Parents can be role models and encourage their children to build healthy habits by forming and supervising walking school buses and bicycle trains in their neighborhood.
There are a number of ways that you can get involved in SRTS activities from staying up to date on the Action Plan process to participating in activities and events in your own neighborhood.
Activities and Events
Walk to School Day (WTSD): These events celebrate walking and rolling to school with students, parents, and other community members. Participants begin walking at one or two meet-up locations, then travel to school together. WTSD events can be festive with signs and banners and fun activities at school. Regular WTSD events can supplement the annual International Walk and Roll to School Day, celebrated on the first Wednesday in October, and National Bike to School Day, in May.
Walk Audits: Walk audits engage residents and help them transform their vision of healthy, safe, walkable streets into reality. School-based audits can include parents and students to create a better walking and biking environment for getting to and from school.
Open Houses and Presentations: Open houses and presentations on local Orange County Safe Routes to School or best practices from around the country are great opportunities to share ideas and get inspired.
Contact us if your community organization is interested in a presentation on the project. Email Rebecca Miller at RMiller@ochca.com.
Check out the calendar of upcoming events regularly.
Whether you want to jumpstart an SRTS Program in your neighborhood or organize activities and events at your school, there are many resources to help. We recommend using existing resources from the Safe Routes Partnership, Caltrans Active Transportation Resource Center, and the National Center for Safe Routes to School. We expect to add a few more Orange County SRTS-specific resources developed through this process.
For now, check out the resources below to help start your program:
Investing in Walking, Biking, and Safe Routes to School: A Win for the Bottom Line
Case Studies on Active Transportation Funding, Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, Shared Use, and Environmental Justice
Safe Routes to School Messaging for Pros
Building Momentum for Safe Routes to School
Engaging Students with Disabilities in Safe Routes to School
Roll Bicycle Education into Your Physical Education Program
Roll Up to a Bicycle Skills Clinic
Addressing Street Harassment
Personal Safety in Safe Routes to School
Focusing on the Safety of Children Can Propel Vision Zero Initiatives