About New Jersey Safe Routes to School
New Jersey Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a statewide initiative supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation with funding from the Federal Highway Administration to create safer and more accessible environments for students to walk and bicycle to and from school.
NJ SRTS Strategic Plan
In 2012 NJ SRTS completed an update to the statewide strategic plan. This document identifies a mission and vision for NJ SRTS, looks at past successes in the state, and identifies goals and performance measures to ensure success.
NJ SRTS Mission: To empower communities to identify and overcome barriers to walking and cycling to school through the creation of partnerships and implementation of projects and programs that make walking and biking to and from school an appealing and safe daily activity.
NJ SRTS Vision: A culture and environment where walking and biking to school foster a safe and attractive way of life for students throughout the State of New Jersey.
NJ SRTS goals include:
Encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle by walking and biking to school
Offering walking and biking activities and events that are fun, safe, and easy can encourage parents and students to try a healthy alternative for getting to and from school. SRTS programs are not only fun and educational, but also they can foster walking and biking as part of families’ daily routines.
Building a safer environment for walking and bicycling
Safe walking and bicycling environments will enable more trips to school by foot or bike. Safe Routes to School can assist with forming partnerships between parents, schools, and city planners to identify and implement short-term and long-term improvements to make walking and biking safer and easier.
Improvements in areas surrounding schools that reduce vehicle speeds and traffic as well as establish safe and accessible crossings, sidewalks, and bike paths are key strategies for establishing safe routes to and from school. In communities where walking or bicycling safely to school is difficult or impossible for children, Safe Routes to School can assist with addressing these barriers.
Teaching safe walking/biking practices and improving behavior of all road users
Road Safety Education is an ongoing effort that includes teaching children and parents the basics of safe walking and bicycling, as well as educating drivers in the community about sharing the road with pedestrians and bicyclists. Behavior on the road is vital in creating safe routes for children. Enforcement of traffic laws can occur through a partnership with local law enforcement as well as crossing guards stationed at busy intersections to help children cross the street.
Safe Routes to School provides workshops and strategies for educational outreach and engagement to empower students, parents and community members to be safe commuters.
Evaluation is critical to determine if successful in enabling more children to walk and bike safely to and from school. Once in place, SRTS programs are carefully monitored and documented though the collection and analysis of data to measure the level of success. SRTS provides assistance in the data collection process, such as guidelines, forms and surveys. This data helps to secure funding to implement more programs and provides insights into additional improvements that can be made.
Download the New Jersey Safe Routes to School Info Sheet (PDF)