Planning and Research
To support planners and their communities in the development of robust and impactful Safe Routes to School plans, MnSRTS had provided the following three educational webinars.
Engaging Stakeholders in the Safe Routes to School Planning Process provides information on how to build a team, gather information, maximize outreach, and plan implementation.
The Minnesota Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan was updated in 2020 and lays out a five-year roadmap for statewide Safe Routes to School efforts and initiatives in Minnesota with a focus on equity.
Demonstration projects are short-term, low-cost, temporary roadway projects used to pilot potential long-term design solutions to improve walking/bicycling to school and in daily life. Demonstration projects allow public agencies, community partners, and people walking, bicycling, taking transit, and driving to evaluate potential infrastructure improvements before potentially investing in permanent changes.
Research helps make the case for Safe Routes to School, shared use, and bicycling and walking investments to school officials, local government staff, elected officials and parents. Minnesota SRTS fact sheet highlights the improvements to safety, physical activity and broad reach of the state program. Research is available to show the connection between comprehensive Safe Routes to School programs and an improvement in:
- Obesity and health
- Academic performance and attendance
- Travel decisions and behavior change
- Improved safety for walking and bicycling
- Air quality and the environment
National research highlights the effectiveness of Safe Routes to School initiatives.
This map displays Safe Routes to School work in Minnesota funded by MnDOT and other sources, including infrastructure projects, plans, bike fleets, Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum trainees, participation in walk and bike encouragement events by county, legislative or Regional Development Organization boundaries.
To measure progress, Safe Routes to School programs should begin with evaluation to create a baseline and community engagement to better understand the barriers to walking and bicycling to school. This could be assessing student perception of biking or walking, parent concerns, looking at sidewalk and roadways around the school and investigating policies that may or may not support walking and bicycling.
MnSRTS used the national Safe Routes Parent Survey and Student Tallies and has additionally created a School Zone Hazard Assessment, School Environment and Policy Assessment, SRTS Plan Implementation Survey, and a School Implementation Progress Checklist.