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Developing a Safe Routes Project

Steps to Safe Routes Projects

  1. Building Partnerships and Community Support
  2. School Traffic Safety Review
  3. Designing Your Project
  4. How to Pay for the Project
  5. If you are funded by a WSDOT Safe Routes to School Grant
  6. How Well Did This Work

No Cost Solutions and Technical Assistance

WSDOT offers no cost assistance for all the phases of developing a Safe Routes project outlined below, helping schools and communities prioritize needs, identify solutions and prepare a plan.

Contact: Safe Routes to School Coordinator for technical assistance that may include help with the steps below.

    Getting Started!
1. Building Partnerships and Community Support

Efforts to provide safe walking and biking facilities work best when coordinated partnerships are used to support them. Safe Routes to School partnerships usually include teachers, school administrator's, transportation professionals, law enforcement, and public health professionals but may include a wide variety of representatives.

2. School Traffic Safety Review  

This review looks at walkability and bikeability in the vicinity of schools. It helps to identify where infrastructure improvements are needed as well as safety concerns that could be addressed using education and enforcement efforts.

Walk Route Planning
Washington State school districts are required to have Walk Route Plans, suggested routes to get to school, for elementary schools where there are children that walk to school (WAC 392-151-025).

School Walk and Bike Routes: A Guide for Planning and Improving Walk and Bike to School Options for Students (pdf 912kb) Provides information about School Walk Route Plans:

  • Direction on how to develop and implement school walk routes
  • Procedures to identify pedestrian safety deficiencies along walk routes
  • Ways for community members to work together to make improvements

3. Designing Your Project 

Identifying the right solutions for your project requires a knowledge of the various options and an understanding of which options are better for different situations. Resource documents are available to help but they do not replace the need to include the transportation professionals responsible for your target location.

4. How to Pay for the Project

The WSDOT administers the Safe Routes to School Funding Program. It provides funds for engineering, infrastructure, education, encouragement and enforcement activities to increase the number of children walking and biking to school safely.

Funding Sources

5. If you are funded by a WSDOT Safe Routes to School Grant

If you get a Safe Routes to School Grant Award for federal funding there are federal requirements that need to be followed. More information about those requirements can be found in the Local Agency Guidelines (LAG) Manual.

All funded projects are required to:

  • Complete quarterly progress reports.
  • Submit completed post project Student Travel Tally forms for target school(s).
  • Comply with the state cultural resource requirements outlined in Executive Order 05-05 and general federal eligibility guidance.

Local Agency Agreement: Funded projects must complete a local agency agreement before work begins.  For information about the Local Agency Agreement go to chapter 22 in the Local Agency Guidelines (LAG Manual). 

6. How Well Did This Work - Evaluation

Evaluation is an important part of the Program. Communities that get WSDOT Safe Routes to School Funding are required to evaluate the number of children walking and biking to school before and after their projects using the In-Class Survey Form. Below are some links to evaluation forms and instructions.

Other Planning Assistance is available from: 

Learn more about Safe Routes to School