Safe Routes to School Program call for projects

Find information about the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, requirements, application process, review criteria, support documents and a link to the application.

General information

Program purpose

  • Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk, roll, and bicycle to school.
  • Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing form of transportation, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
  • Facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

Estimated available funding amount

$59,000,000

Funding Source

Federal and State

Applications Due Date

June 6, 2022 (11:59 p.m.)

Eligible project types

  1. Pedestrian/bicyclist safety infrastructure improvements within two miles of a school (typically, also includes preliminary engineering, and right of way).
  2. Education/Encouragement Only projects.
  3. Development/Design-Only projects that will result in a ready to construct pedestrian or bicyclist improvement project within two miles of a school (may include community outreach and tactical urbanism).

Projects are to serve students in kindergarten to 12th grade.

Eligible Applicants

All public agencies in Washington, including tribal governments (lead agency should be the owner/operator of the transportation facilities where improvements are focused), and nonprofit entities responsible for the administration of transportation safety education and encouragement programs

Safe Routes to School Program contacts

Charlotte Claybrooke, Active Transportation Program Manager, 360-790-5231 charlotte.claybrooke@wsdot.wa.gov or WSDOT Region Local Programs Engineers

Safe Routes to School Program 

Match

Match is not required, and it will not be considered in the review criteria for requests of $800,000 or less. Review criteria for applications requesting greater than $800,000 will include a consideration of match, cash or in-kind (review criteria below provide details).

Funding

Funds will be available for the 2023-2025 biennium beginning July 2023. This is not a “cash-up-front” program. Costs incurred prior to WSDOT project approval are not eligible for reimbursement.

This call is in preparation for the 2023-25 state legislative session to appropriate funding for the program. This call for projects is intended to develop a lists of projects for the 2023-2025 biennium. Projects selected for funding are expected to begin work in the first year of the biennium and will be held to the schedules provided in the applications. Applicants that received a SRTS or Pedestrian and Bicyclist Program (PBP) project award in 2019 or 2021 are eligible for funding but WSDOT considers past delivery of previous awards.

Informational webinars

The PBP and SRTS Programs Overview Webinar Part I was presented on March 30, 2022 and repeated on April 12, 2022. They provided general information about the programs. Here are the slides (PDF 3.57MB), the chat log from March 30th (PDF 102KB) and the webinar questions and answers report for April 12, 2022 (PDF 98KB).  A recording of the April version is available here.

PBP and SRTS Programs Application Webinar Part II was presented on March 31, 2022 and repeated on April 13, 2022. They provided information about the application and how to apply.  Here are the slides (PDF 1.05MB) and the webinar questions and answers report for both days (PDF 96KB)  A recording of the April version is available here

Active Transportation Design and Operations Options Workshops

These workshops will provide information about best practices in project design and operations treatment options specific to the programs. 

Workshop I: Active Transportation Design and Operations Options (Basic) - April 26, 2022 3:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.  A recording of this webinar is available here.

Workshop II: Active Transportation Design and Operations Options (Advanced) - April 28, 2022 3:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.  A recording of this webinar is available here

Applications

The application is available online in Survey Monkey. The same application survey is being used for both the SRTS and PBP programs. Applicants that choose to submit requests for multiple projects must complete a separate application survey for each project proposed. Due to the nature of Survey Monkey please consider completing the project plan sheet, cost estimate, and this Word version of the survey (DOCX 31.9KB) to prepare responses before answering the questions in Survey Monkey and to keep for your records. Survey Monkey does not send applicants a copy of the submitted survey. Survey Monkey may limit the applicant’s ability to return and continue answering unfinished applications if the survey is closed before it is complete. In addition to the application survey, prepare and submit (as an email attachment) the following items necessary to scope the project and identify common obstacles:

Project cost estimate (optional cost estimate template provided)

All applications for development/design only or infrastructure construction projects must include a project cost estimate consistent with the guidance of the Local Agency Guidelines Manual. The cost estimate for infrastructure/construction projects must be determined assuming that the project is design-bid-build and not constructed by the workforce of the applicant agency. Local agencies may use their own cost estimate format. If a template would be helpful, here are links to optional budget templates that can be used for the different project types:

Plan sheets and project cross sections

For construction/infrastructure projects design detail information is required. Applicants must submit the following materials that show those details:

  • Plan view (overhead view)
  • Existing and proposed cross sections

The Example Plan Sheets and Cross Section Document (PDF 367KB) provides examples and descriptions. If needed StreetMix.net can be used to create a cross section.

Note: Please do not submit plan views or cross-sections for SRTS Education/Encouragement Only or Development/Design Only projects.

Submit application in Survey Monkey. Word documents or other format versions of the application will not be accepted. Send required attachments by e-mail to ATDgrants@wsdot.wa.gov. All application materials must be received no later 11:59 p.m. on June 6, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Applicants are invited to include an image(s) of the location, but that is not a requirement. Only the Survey Monkey application, the project cost estimate, the project plan sheets, cross sections and image(s) of the location will be accepted for review. Do NOT send other documents such as letters of support; they will not be reviewed or considered in the evaluation process.

Special instruction for projects on a state route or within WSDOT rights of way

Local agencies and Tribes that have prioritized a location for a proposed project that is on or adjacent to a State Route, crosses a State Route, or is within WSDOT Rights of Way must follow these special instructions for their applications. Projects on state routes shall have already undergone WSDOT practical solutions evaluations and have full WSDOT region support. They must be coordinated through the appropriate WSDOT regional office. The project schedule should be given additional time to accommodate WSDOT collaboration. An e-mail or letter confirming project concurrence by the Regional Administrator, or their designee is required. Contact your area’s Region Local Programs Engineer to start this process.

Special instruction for projects on Tribal land

Cities and counties that propose a project that is on or passing through federally recognized Tribal lands must include an e-mail or letter confirming project concurrence by the Tribe.

Note: Except for these contexts, proposed projects should not involve road segments owned/managed by multiple jurisdictions. 

Special instructions for project development/design only projects

These projects are not just exploratory, as there is an expectation that development/design-only projects will complete a design for pedestrian and/or bicycle facilities to prepare shovel ready projects for future funding. Preference will be given to projects that propose getting to 90% design. Not all design elements would need to reach 90% design, but it is recommended that central elements necessary to address the need and purpose of the project (moving active travelers of all ages and abilities along and across a major arterial, for example) achieve this benchmark. The exploratory nature of these projects will likely identify elements that are of high interest to the community and relate to the primary need/purpose of the project. Such elements can be designed at lower levels, though applicants are advised not to propose less than 30% design.

Program requirements

Projects must address the program purpose and be consistent with the program guidance and standards presented in the references below. Agencies that are awarded funding must:

  • Report semi-annually on the status of the project
  • Comply with funding source (state or federal) requirements
  • Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Include the project in the local Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)*

* If receiving federal funding from any source, the project must also be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Federal law requires all federally funded projects be included in the STIP. State funded projects that are deemed regionally significant by the MPO/RTPO/County lead agency must be included in the STIP. Local agencies with projects selected for funding will be responsible for including the project in the STIP prior to the obligation of funding.

Approved guidance and standards references

Treatments specifically designed to improve the safety and mobility of bicyclists and pedestrians that are identified in other peer reviewed design guidance from nationally recognized engineering studies (example, NCHRP) or adopted standards will be considered. Proposed improvements must be compatible with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) – Washington State Modifications, MUTCD, have interim MUTCD approval, or be accepted under MUTCD experimental status.

Information about treatment effectiveness can be found in the FHWA Proven Safety Countermeasures Website, PEDSAFE, BIKESAFE, FHWA Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse and the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan 2019, Pedestrian and Bicyclist Chapter (PDF 15.33MB).

Project titles

The project title should be no more than 255 characters. It will be utilized throughout the life of the project. Examples include:

  • Johnson Rd and H, J, L, and M Streets Sidewalks and Curb Extension SRTS Project
  • Smith Rd. & Johnson Rd. Roundabout SRTS Project
  • 10th St. and Central Ave. Project Development/Design SRTS Project

Inappropriate uses of funding

  • Recurring costs such as salary for an adult crossing guard (salary for a SRTS Coordinator is acceptable)
  • Pavement resurfacing or pavement preservation (unless part of a road diet/reconfiguration)
  • Widening and/or adding travel lanes, increasing posted speed, or other motor vehicle related changes that could negatively affect pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility
  • School bus safety projects or improvements to school bus stops
  • Portable enforcement equipment
  • Gifts or stipends

Application review process

This is a competitive program. This review process and the criteria below describe how projects will be prioritized for funding recommendations.

  • WSDOT staff will conduct a quantitative assessment of the applications using the applicant’s responses, WSDOT 2017-2021 crash data, US Census data, school data, and WSDOT local project search data.
  • Projects for cities/towns or census designated places within county or Tribal jurisdictions that have a population of 10,000 or less will be compared to other projects that serve similar size communities. Projects for agencies that serve populations greater than 10,000 will likewise be compared with each other.
  • Application review committee members will evaluate the applications and make recommendations.
  • WSDOT staff will conduct electronic or on-site project review meetings with the highest-ranking applicants. Electronic or on-site review meetings will also be offered to applicants that propose pedestrian and/or bicyclist safety improvements at locations with a higher equity need (where a higher percentage of the population are low income, are Black, Indigenous, or people of color, are living with a disability, or meet other equity criteria that may be identified in law for the program). These meetings will address reviewer comments and may include practical solutions considerations. WSDOT will prioritize applications so that at least 35% of those above the estimated available funding threshold will serve high equity need populations. 
  • The final prioritized list of projects will be submitted to the Governor’s office and the legislature by December 1, 2022.
  • The legislature and Governor will make the final decisions on program funding during the 2023 Legislative session. WSDOT will then issue award letters to projects selected for funding; project activities may begin after July 1, 2023.

Review criteria

Safety (systemic safety approach or crash location improvement) – up to 40% of consideration

  • A Local Roads Safety Plan (PDF 276.35KB) project (where the project location and project treatments are listed in the plan)
  • Project improvement proposed for roads with a higher level of traffic stress (defined as roads over 25mph, roads with ≥1500 average annual daily traffic (AADT), and/or greater than three motor vehicle lanes)
  • Speed management improvement where speeding or a need to lower posted speed is indicated
  • The road characteristics and features at the proposed project location are consistent with road characteristics and features where pedestrian/bicycle fatal/serious injuries for the agency or agency type occur (systemic safety approach). Summary of Statewide Crash Data (PDF 178KB) for project planning.
  • The severity and number of pedestrian or bicyclist traffic crash(es), within the last five years 2017-2021, at the project location. This WSDOT website has a crash data request form for project planning.

Equity – up to 20% of consideration

  • The percentage of school population that is low income, are people of color, have Hispanic heritage and/or are children with a disability. For project planning this equity related information can be found for schools on the Washington State Report Card website.

Deliverability/other – up to 12% of consideration

  • Match (only considered for projects with a total cost of $800,000 or more)
  • Project is in local or regional transportation plan or other related plan
  • Applicant has an ADA transition plan or ADA Compliance planning for public right-of-way
  • Applicant has an adopted greenhouse gas emissions policy
  • Applicants that previously received project award(s) from WSDOT which required a scope change(s) or have that made exceptionally slow progress will receive lower consideration for deliverability

Value - up to 10% of consideration

  • Total funds requested for project compared to population density (as measured for census block groups adjacent to the project location)
  • Density of businesses, public services (such as schools, parks, and libraries), or modal connections (bus, ferry, train, etc.) adjacent to location; and/or closing active transportation gap connections between population centers

Project Quality - up to 18% of consideration

For Infrastructure Projects

For Project Development/Design-Only Projects

  • Proposed community engagement events
  • Preliminary Engineering (PE): number of elements to be designed to 90% level/shovel ready
  • Quality of proposed budget
  • The extent to which the project includes pedestrian/bicyclist volume estimation work, temporary project/tactical urbanism efforts, pre SEPA/NEPA scoping, preliminary ROW/Title work, level of traffic stress, route directness analysis, and/or a pedestrian/bicyclist network analysis

For Education/Encouragement only Projects

  • Potential number of students reached
  • Potential effectiveness of the education or encouragement activities
  • Quality and detail provided in the proposed budget.

Award announcements: expected in June 2023.

Glossary

Speed Management – The use of engineering, traffic control, and road design to induce drivers to travel at target speeds. This often includes treatments to lower motorist speeds along linear road segments or during turning movements at intersections where pedestrians and bicyclists are expected. The Washington State Injury Minimization and Speed Management Policy Elements and Implementation Recommendations (PDF 455KB) published in 2020 provide more information.

Level of Traffic Stress – A relative, but objective measure of the systemic safety of transportation facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. Roadways are assigned a score based on roadway characteristics including posted speed, the number of vehicles using the road, the number of vehicle travel lanes and the presence of dedicated modal facilities like bike lanes. It is typically presented on a scale of 1 to 4. Chapter 3 and Appendix D in the Washington State Active Transportation Plan (PDF 19.13MB) published in 2021 provide more information.

Road Characteristics/Features – These include the basic components of a road including width, number of lanes, posted speed, traffic volume, traffic separators, various user type facilities, traffic control devices and intersection/crossing frequency.

Route Directness – A measure of how far out of direction a pedestrian or cyclist is expected to travel to reach their destination. The Washington State Multimodal Permeability Pilot Report (PDF 1.85MB) published in 2021 provides more information.

Safe System Approach – A method to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users using a holistic view of the road system that first anticipates human mistakes and second aims to keep the crash impact transfer of force to the human body at survivable levels. The 2019 Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan (PDF 15.33MB) provides more information in Appendix K.

Temporary Project Development Treatments/Reconfigurations (Tactical Urbanism) – Temporary improvements intended to determine the operational effectiveness of potential permanent treatments as part of a project development process. They may include the use of temporary paint, removable signs, curbs and/or other physical barriers such as planters. They offer a quick way to test and refine potential solutions to planning/project development challenges and to build local resident awareness, understanding, and support.

Zero emission electric vehicle registrations in Washington

increased 192% between 2017 and 2021.

45 projects to improve freight rail structures and freight movement

were underway as of December 31, 2021.

Washington state leveraged $100,000 to secure $27 million

in funding for airport investments in Fiscal Year 2022.