Safe Routes to School ProgramSOURCE
: Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT)
PURPOSE OF PROGRAM
To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
Eligible schools are elementary and middle schools (Grades Kindergarten through 8th). Eligible applicants for infrastructure projects include cities, counties, local and state governments. For non-infrastructure projects eligible applicants include cities, counties, local and state governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Some applications could involve more than one partner.
Infrastructure grant uses:
- 100 percent federal share – no local funding match required; reimbursement grants
- Eligible applicants for infrastructure projects are state and local governments. For non-infrastructure projects, eligible applicants include state and local governments, regional agencies, including nonprofits, schools (both public and private), Parent Teacher Associations, etc.
- 70 to 90 percent for infrastructure projects and 10 to 30 percent for noninfrastructure projects; efforts in both areas must be demonstrated
- Primary beneficiaries must be K-8 students
- nfrastructure projects must be within two miles of a school and on public property or private land with legal public-access easements
- Competitive grant program administered by Iowa DOT
- Award recipients must comply with stringent federal and state funding requirements
Infrastructure projects must reduce speeds and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access. Examples may include:
- Sidewalk improvements
- Traffic calming and speed reduction improvements
- Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements
- On-street bicycle facilities
- Off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities
- Secure bicycle parking facilities
- Traffic diversion improvements
Planning, design, and engineering expenses, including consultant services, associated with developing eligible infrastructure projects are also eligible to receive infrastructure funds.
Non-infrastructure grant uses:
The program guidance specifies that eligible non-infrastructure projects are activities that encourage walking and bicycling to school, including: public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders; traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools; student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and the environment; and funding for training, volunteers, and managers of SRTS programs.
Minimum funding for infrastructure projects is set at $25,000 with maximum project funding set at $250,000. Minimum funding for non-infrastructure projects is set at $3,500 and maximum project funding is $250,000. Applicants who are not selected in this funding cycle are encouraged to apply the following year.
Due to the recent passage of the new federal transportation bill (MAP-21) the next funding cycle will be delayed pending Iowa Transportation Commission review. Applications were scheduled to be received by October 1, 2012; however, this date has been pushed back until January 2013 at the earliest. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available
SPECIAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
There are several federal and state requirements that apply to the Safe Routes to School funding program. Applicants should review the Iowa DOT's Instructional Memorandums to Local Public Agencies and the Federal-aid Project Development Guide. For this information and other useful resources, http://www.iowadot.gov/local_systems/publications/im/lpa_ims.htm
Iowa's SRTS program coordinator
Office of Systems Planning
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Applications are available at http://www.iowadot.gov/saferoutes/