What are Safe Routes to School Programs?
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.
SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that improve safety and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, these programs make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation choice thus encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
In 2007, the committee received a grant from Indiana Department of Transportation to create a Safe Routes to School program in Bartholomew County. This program was created to both encourage and educate the schools, parents and children on the many benefits of walking and biking to school when it’s safe. This money was used to raise awareness, gather volunteers, and purchase safety gear for students that lived in the walk zone.For additional local information, please contact Kelli Thompson at 812-314-3867.
BCSC Safe Routes to School
The Bartholomew County Safe Routes to School Committee is working to expand opportunities for safe walking and bicycling in the neighborhoods around each school (K-8) that have a walk zone.
Along with the Planning Department, the committee is composed of representatives from the Engineering, Police and Parks Departments; the Metropolitan Planning Organization; Healthy Communities; the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC) Transportation Department; and principals and teachers from each of those schools.
With grant money received from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), the Bartholomew County Safe Routes to School Committee is working with consultants, Alta Planning & Design and Burgess & Niple, to create Safe Routes to School Plans for nine BCSC schools (Lincoln CSA, Parkside, Richards, Schmitt, Smith, Southside, & Taylorsville Elementary and Central & Northside Middle School). The Planning Department is managing the grant administration and the contract and the day-to-day efforts of the consultants.
These plans will identify areas around each school that need intersection improvements, sidewalk repair, bicycle parking, enhanced lighting, or traffic control; provide recommendations for improvements; and include various educational programs and incentives to support walking and biking to school.For information on the National Center for Safe Routes to School go to www.saferoutesinfo.org.To learn more about Safe Routes to School in Indiana go to http://www.in.gov/indot/2355.htmIf you are interested in viewing the complete plan, you can download the SRTS Complete Plan 2012 DRAFT.