The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has partnered with Cross County Connection TMA, to administer a statewide bicycle and pedestrian education and encouragement program. The goal of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is to create safer and more accessible environments for students (K-8) to walk and bicycle to and from school.
The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the nationwide trend of increasing childhood obesity and inactivity.
The SRTS Program is organized around five complimentary strategies:
Engineering: Making the environment safer for walking and bicycling through infrastructure improvements.
Encouragement: Implementing fun and educational activities, such as “walking school buses” and bicycle rodeos”.
Education: Providing children with pedestrian, bicyclist and traffic safety lessons.
Evaluation: Monitoring a SRTS program to determine strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments.
Enforcement: Encouraging all road users to obey traffic laws and share the road safely.
SRTS programs bring a wide range of benefits to students and the community, including:
Cross County Connection is a resource for southern NJ municipalities and schools seeking to implement a SRTS program by providing technical assistance and coordination, including:
Presenting information at municipal and school meetings: Meet with school faculty, PTA representatives and local law enforcement to discuss travel plan options based on the school's setting.
Building a SRTS Team: Team members may include Principals, Teachers, School district or BOE members, Municipal employees, PTA/PTO Members, Advocates from Community Organizations (Green Team, etc.)
Pedestrian Safety Programs: Provide instruction in a classroom or assembly
setting which meets NJ's Core Curriculum Standards. Students are taught how
to properly cross a street using a mock pedestrian crosswalk.
Creating Travel Plans: Create a travel plan with maps showing student locations to indicate safer routes for pedestrian and bike travel by identifying problem areas and proposing solutions.
Infrastructure Grant Application Assistance: Provide technical support and grantwriting assitance to districts seeking funding sources to improve bicycle and pedestian conditions in the area.
Safe Routes to School Walking and Bicycling Encouragement Activities
- Walking School Bus- an organized way for children to walk to school under the supervision of responsible adults. One or more adults walk with the children along a fixed route, adding children to the group at stops along the way to school.
- Walk to School Day- a designated day in which students are encouraged to walk to school when and where it is safe to do so (ex. International Walk to School Day).
- Satellite Drop Off- by determining a safe location off school grounds for students to meet, or get dropped byparents, traffic is kept away from the school grounds and students can then be escorted to school by parent or facultyvolunteers.
- Bicycle Rodeo- a clinic that teaches children the importance of riding a bicycle safely, including the skills they needtodevelopand the precautions to take to have a safe and enjoyable time on their bicycles.
- Bike Train- like a walking school bus, a parent leads a group of children along a safe fixed route and picks up other cyclists along the way.
- Golden Sneaker Award- a program in which the most active homerooms receive the golden sneaker trophy for havingthe most walkers/bicyclists during a walk/bike to school day event.
New Jersey’s SRTS Program includes a Recognition Award Program, which recognizes municipalities and schools (public, private, or charter) for their SRTS efforts. The Recognition Award Program consists of four levels; first step, bronze, silver and gold. Award recipients implement walk and bike to school events, adopt supportive policies, obtain backing from local constituents, and evaluate existing conditions for walking and biking to school.
Cross County Connection is pleased to announce that the following schools in southern NJ are
SRTS Recognition Award recipients:
- Haddonfield, J.F. Tatem Elementary
- Haddonfield, Sacred Heart Elementary School
- Chesterfield, Chesterfield School
- Egg Harbor City, Spragg Elementary School
- Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor City Community School
- Mt. Holly, Sacred Heart
- Woodbine, Woodbine Elementary
- Absecon, Emma C. Attales Middle School
- Absecon, Marsh Elementary School
- Bridgeton, Fairfield Township School District
- National Park, National Park Elementary School
- Pemberton, Samuel Busanky Elementary School
- Somers Point, Dawes Avenue Elementary School
- Somers Point, Jordan Road Elementary School
- Southampton, School 1
- Southampton, School 2
- Southampton, School 3
- Pemberton, Busansky Elementary
- Southampton, School 1, 2 and 3
- Vineland, Rossi Middle School
- Collingswood, Zane North Elementary School
- Pemberton, Aletta Crichton Elementary School
- Pemberton, Alexander Denbo Elementary School
First Step Level
- Lawnside, Lawnside Elementary
- Vineland, Wallace Middle School
- National Park, National Park Elementary
- Edgewater Park, Mildred Magowan Elementary School
- Galloway, Galloway Township Public Schools
- Hammonton Township School District
- Pleasantville, South Main Street Elementary School
Whether you are a teacher, school administrator, faculty member, municipal employee, parent/guardian, or part of a community interest group, or other interested party, contact Cross County Connection at 856-596-8228 or email@example.com, to set up an appointment to discuss how you can get your school moving forward on establishing a sustainable SRTS program.