Build Your Safe Routes to School Team

A Safe Routes to School (SRTS) team has a common goal of increasing the number of students walking and bicycling to school and is comprised of community members with diverse backgrounds and interests. The SRTS team consists of: Champions and Stakeholders.

Champions are two to four people dedicated to leading and coordinating the team’s efforts in building an effective SRTS program by developing and evaluating goals for the community and monitoring the program’s effectiveness in the future. Champions might be:

  • PTA/PTO Representatives
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Local Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates
  • Members of Green Team
  • School District or Board of Education Representatives
  • Communications/Marketing Representatives from school districts, municipalities, etc.
  • Regional Coordinators

Stakeholders represent interests of the school and community in the form of a SRTS Task Force and can share insight into policies that might help shape the SRTS program. The Task Force of stakeholders can be comprised of:

  • Parents
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Local Municipal Officials
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Crossing guards
  • Local Business Owners
  • Municipal Engineers/Urban Planners
  • Green Team Members
  • County Representatives
  • Advocates from Community Organizations (traffic safety, children’s health and wellness, bicycling/pedestrian safety, etc.)

Team Meetings

The SRTS team should be flexible and allow for members to work together or separately depending on what is most practical or convenient, however some face-to-face time should take place at the beginning of the process. Team meetings should review SRTS benefits and begin to identify goals specific to your school or community. You should also plan to establish your Task Force, make preliminary decisions on SRTS actions to initiate, and agree on a calendar of tentative meeting dates. In addition, some of the best input comes from students, and their ideas can be collected through surveys, classroom exercises and/or art projects, and then presented to the SRTS team at a meeting.

SRTS Team Roles and Responsibilities

Outlined below are some typical roles for SRTS team members:

School/School District Representatives – Program Facilitators

Role Responsibilities
School Parents
  • Aid in identifying obstacles to walking and bicycling along the routes to school
  • Provide insight into factors affecting a parent’s decision to allow her/his child to walk/bike to school
  • Garner support for the SRTS program from the school district as a whole
  • Educate and encourage other parents to participate
Superintendents
  • Encourage district-wide support for the program by encouraging SRTS in the classroom and at events
  • Oversee engineering and physical infrastructure projects on school property
Board of Education and Other District Administrators
  • Know facts and figures for finances, busing
  • Adopt policies supporting a SRTS program
Principals
  • Encourage support for the program by integrating SRTS into the curriculum and special events
  • Manage engineering and physical infrastructure projects on school property
  • Ensure that school policies support the mission of the SRTS program
Teachers
  • Integrate SRTS-related lessons into classes
  • Rally support for SRTS from school faculty and staff
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teachers
  • Integrate SRTS education into their curriculum, educating both students and parents in communities where students speak a language other than English at home
Other Staff
  • Provide insight into the students’ attitudes toward walking and bicycling (i.e. Guidance Counselor)
Communications Specialists
  • Use their knowledge of local/regional media outlets to publicize the SRTS program to various target markets
Students
  • Identify routes to school and perceived obstacles to walking and biking

Municipal/County Government Representatives – Community Partners

Role Responsibilities
Mayor/Council/Freeholders
  • Demonstrate political support for SRTS, conveying that the municipality will work to advance SRTS
Police Department
  • Provide traffic safety information (i.e. crash data)
  • Address personal safety issues and enforcement
Crossing Guards
  • Describe first-hand experiences with motorists’ interactions with pedestrians and cyclists
Traffic Engineering
  • Elaborate on the impact that infrastructure design can have on improving the safety of walking routes
  • Coordinate physical improvements to the transportation infrastructure
Planning Department
  • Understand the area-wide land use context and how bicycles/pedestrians can be integrated
  • Prepare master plan provisions for cyclists/walkers
  • Provide relevant maps
Parks/Recreation Department
  • Provide information about how local parks can be integrated into a walking/bicycling network
  • Provide information on events that can include SRTS
Environmental Department
  • Provide insight into various environmental efforts that complement SRTS efforts (i.e. reducing bus emissions)
Economic Development Department
  • Provide information on local demographics
  • Provide information on how the bicycle/pedestrian network can accommodate workers who walk/bike

Community Representatives – Knowledgeable and Supportive Neighbors

Role Responsibilities
Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates
  • Provide information on bicycle/pedestrian issues and expertise on how they have been remedied in the past
Other Local Advocates
  • Comment specifically on the benefits and hindrances of developing safer routes (health, environment, etc.)
Regional Advocates
  • Provide a broader perspective of how your SRTS program fits in with other pedestrian/bicycle projects in the region
Business Owners
  • Provide insight into how local businesses can be involved in financially supporting SRTS programming (e.g. coupons for contest winners)
  • Provide insight into how businesses can take advantage of a bicycle-pedestrian network for both their customers and employees
Planning Department
  • Understand the area-wide land use context and how bicycles/pedestrians can be integrated
  • Prepare master plan provisions for cyclists/walkers
  • Provide relevant maps
Parks/Recreation Department
  • Provide information about how local parks can be integrated into a walking/bicycling network
  • Provide information on events that can include SRTS
Environmental Department
  • Provide insight into various environmental efforts that complement SRTS efforts (i.e. reducing bus emissions)
Economic Development Department
  • Provide information on local demographics
  • Provide information on how the bicycle/pedestrian network can accommodate workers who walk/bike

Getting Started Toolkit

Build Your Safe Routes Team
Walk and Bike to School Events
Estimating Improvement Costs
Walking School Bus
Planning a Walking School Bus