Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. SRTS plays a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.
The SRTS program in Moscow started as part of the federal Safe Routes to School program. From 2007, under the direction of Helen Brown and Grace Goc Karp in the Movement Sciences Department at the University of Idaho, an SRTS Coordinator was hired to expand it to all K-8th grade schools that wanted to participate. We have seen gradual enthusiasm build as schools and families have benefited from the SRTS program.
SRTS has three main objectives:
- improve walking and biking conditions
- increase physical activity
- decrease air pollution
SRTS organizes four events each year:
- the International Walk to School day (iWalk)
- the Polar Walk
- Fill the Racks!
- Officer Newbill Kid’s Safety fair
These events help encourage students to walk, bike, or roll to school.
Besides coordinating the annual encouragement events above, Moscow’s SRTS also:
- works with the City of Moscow to gain funding for new sidewalks around schools in need
- provides maps for all K-8th grade Moscow students
- finds and maps safe routes to school
- works with Principals to make individual school priorities happen, examples include
- providing Crossing Guards with supplies
- funding helmets for students in need
- helps coordinate Walking School Buses at participating schools
- works to implement “it’s the law to stop for pedestrians” signs
- improves route safety
- works to increase incentive
- organizes, with PTA leaders, additional programs like “punch cards” and the “one less car” campaign to encourage daily walking and biking
- works with schools to improve drop off and pick up procedures to ensure a safe and efficient program
Starting in 2006, the unique partnership of the City of Moscow and the University of Idaho has been successful in gaining grant funding to provide a variety of opportunities, events and services for K-8th grade students in Moscow, Idaho.
- A.B McDonald Elementary
- Russell Elementary
- West Park Elementary
- Lena Whitmore
- Moscow Charter School
- St. Mary’s Catholic School
- Palouse Prairie School of Experiential Learning
- Moscow Middle School
- City of Moscow
- University of Idaho
- Moscow School District
- Paradise Creek Bikes
- Rolling Hills Bikes
- Moscow Parks and Rec
- Tri-State Outfitters
- Palouse Bicycle Collective
- Palouse Bicycle Racing
- Gritman Medical Center
- NIATT (U of I Engineering Department)
We are looking for additional businesses and organizations to work with.
Across America, SRTS has 6 E’s:
The Coordinator for SRTS in Moscow focuses on the Encouragement and Education "E's." The City of Moscow and U of I NIATT Engineering department has helped us cover other "E’s", Enforcement and Engineering. We all Evaluate our work along the way.
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