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What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School is a national effort to encourage students and families to walk and roll to school – whether that’s on a bike, bus, scooter or mobility device. SRTS programs work to improve street safety around schools, and provide education and encouragement activities to kids and parents.
Why a regional Safe Routes to School program?
Greater Portland has 17 school districts with a total of 330 public schools. Each school district ranges in size from two schools with 600 students at Riverdale to 82 schools with 44,000 students at Portland Public.
Metro created the Regional Safe Routes to School program as part of our Regional Travel Options program, which strives to create healthy and vibrant neighborhoods by improving the quality of air we breathe, reducing car traffic, creating more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to utilize transportation options, and make the most of our transportation investments by promoting their use.
Safe Routes to School programs are a proven way to change travel behaviors and shift modes toward active transportation options. Safe Routes to School programs can increase physical activity, reduce congestion, boost academic performance, improve health, save families money, and provide environmental benefits in an equitable way.
The Regional Safe Routes to School program focuses providing funds to new and existing SRTS programs in the region, coordinating efforts and establishing SRTS best practices, and providing technical assistance opportunities to enhance program development and reduce administrative costs.
Vision and goals
Metro envisions a region where all kids and teenagers are able to safely, affordably, and efficiently access school and their community by walking, rolling and transit.
To achieve this vision, Metro provides funding and resources to ensure:
- SRTS programs in the greater Portland area are effective, inclusive, and sustainable
- SRTS programs prioritize equitable outcomes for students of color, students from families with low incomes, and students with disabilities
- SRTS is integrated into state, regional, local and school district level policy priorities to support programs and invest in safety improvements