SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES, HEALTHIER KIDS

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federal, state and local effort to enable and encourage children to walk and bicycle to school where it is safe to do so and to improve the areas where it is not safe. SRTS facilitates the planning, development and implementation of projects that improve safety and air quality, as well as reduce traffic and fuel consumption around schools. View our SRTS brochure here.

SRTS programs bring a wide range of benefits to students and the community by:

  • Increasing the health and mobility of school-age children
  • Reducing congestion, air pollution and traffic conflict around schools
  • Establishing healthy lifetime habits for students
  • Increasing children’s independence
  • Helping children arrive at school ready to learn
  • Teaching safe pedestrian, bicyclist and driver skills

Greater Mercer TMA has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to implement the statewide SRTS program in schools throughout Mercer and Ocean counties. GMTMA is here to work with your school and town on a wide variety of SRTS programs, including:

Walk to School Day Events

Walk and bike events are a great way to get the school community excited about walking to school. GMTMA helps schools organize yearly events, like International Walk to School Day in October, and works with schools and parents to encourage regular walking and biking to school throughout the year.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Presentations

GMTMA staff is available to make safety presentations to students on a variety of bicycle and pedestrian safety topics. Presentations may be customized to your school’s particular needs and age groups. Safety programs are also available throughout the summer at camps, recreation programs and libraries. We teach safety but keep the learning fun!

Bicycle Rodeos / Skills Clinics

Bike Rodeos are a great way to reinforce basic skills and teach valuable safety information. Held during or after school, these “on bike” events can be held in the parking lot. GMTMA can help organize these events.

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Walking School Bus

A walking school bus (WSB) is a group of chaperoned students who walk to school together. Chaperones are usually parents or teachers. Walking school buses can be held every day, weekly, once a month, once a year or at anytime that is appropriate for your school. GMTMA can help organize buses, plan routes and give guidance. Check out our WSB app (link) and Click here to download a Walking School Bus brochure.

Frequent Walker Programs

Many schools motivate students to walk/bike to school with “frequent walker/bicyclist” programs. Students track how many days they have walked or bicycled to school. Incentives vary. GMTMA can help organize and structure the program.

Other Classroom Activities

There are many ways to incorporate walking and bicycling into existing curriculum. Science and math classes are particularly suited to measuring the impact of more students walking/bicycling, tracking the number of steps that students are walking, etc. GMTMA can provide curriculum assistance.

Walkability Audits

Students, parents, and interested community members can get involved in improving the walkability and bikeability of their community by conducting “audits” of the area around the school. GMTMA can provide audit checklists and facilitate this outdoor activity.

School Travel Plans

GMTMA works with schools and towns to create a plan to improve pedestrian and bicycle travel to and from school. A School Travel Plan identifies current walking patterns, where students would walk and bike if they could, and what changes need to be made so that students can and will walk and bike to school. The plan identifies short and long-term solutions and is supporting material for grant applications.

Infrastructure Assistance

GMTMA can assist in identifying funding, provide grant writing assistance, facilitate meetings with local, county and state officials and provide letters of support as appropriate.

For additional information on SRTS programs, email Ian Henderson at ihenderson@gmtma.org.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us if you have a question.