Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federally funded initiative focused on pedestrian safety through the 5 E’s:
BLEND carefully monitors SRTS through student travel tally data and parent surveys to identify how students are commuting to and from school as well as parental concerns and opportunities for development. From this, data and reports are generated that identify strategies to increase the number of children safely walking and biking to school.
- Student travel tally data (collected in September and May)
- Traffic and route assessments
- Parent survey data (collected in September and May)
BLEND and law enforcement develop a safety education campaign that address enforcement solutions that promote safe driving, walking and biking including:
- Identify problematic intersections
- Crossing guard training/implementation
- Uniform and equipment in compliance with MN law
- Increased law enforcement presence
- Speed and driver compliance signs that free up law enforcement
BLEND, in conjunction with area schools, will initiate special events, contests and activities to build interest and enthusiasm.
- International Walk to School Day celebrations in May and October
- Alternative bus drop off locations to encouraging walking
- Walking school buses
- On-campus walking and activities
BLEND will assist cities or school districts with taking the evaluative data gathered in the schools to apply for applicable grants and funding opportunities.
Safe Routes to School programs help create safe, convenient and fun opportunities for students to walk and bike to school. BLEND helps schools and communities establish and sustain SRTS programs ultimately increasing the number of students walking, biking or rolling to school.
Tools for Schools
- Have your physical education teachers sign up for the free Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum training in your area. Here is one coming to Central Minnesota!
- Learn more about the 5 E’s: Evaluation, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Engineering. (see above)
- BLEND has a pedestrian safety trivia wheel that you may check out for events at your school. It is a bike wheel filled with great questions for kids on pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- BLEND purchases crossing guard materials, blinky lights and student walking/biking incentive stickers in bulk at a reduced price. We may be able to provide these to your school at a discount.
- Celebrate National Walk and Bike to School Days (October and May)
Tools for Parents
Learn more about helmet safety here or follow us on Facebook to hear of local events where we will be fitting helmets. You can request additional copies of this brochure by contacting us.
- Teach your children pedestrian safety habits.
- Attend a bike rodeo or helmet fitting event.
- Follow us on Facebook to learn about upcoming events.
- Register your child for one of our Fit Kids Club race or family events.
- Sign up for BLEND’s monthly E-Newsletter.
- Watch for children while you are driving. Focus on the road!
- Set a good example. Additional tips on driving, biking, walking and busing safety can be found here.
- Strategically placed speed feedback signs to increase driver awareness.
- Expanded local safety patrols including student safety patrols.
- Offered a Fit Kids club pledge program.
- Increased the number of Central Minnesota Bike Rodeos with helmet fittings and discounted helmets provided by the CentraCare Health Foundation.
- Sponsor an annual training local educators at a 10-week bike and pedestrian curriculum called Walk! Bike! Fun!
- Provided schools with walking, biking and physical activity programs and incentives.
- Created the “No Bruising – Just Safe Cruising” campaign to raise driver awareness and student involvement in walking or biking to school.
- National Walk & Bike to School Day event celebration (October and May) and incentives.
- Central Minnesota cities awarded Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants after BLEND assistance.
Share your Story
BLEND wants to hear your Safe Routes to School story! What are you doing to encourage your family to get more physical activity into your daily routine? By sharing your story, we will educate and inspire other BLEND champions around the state! Use our web form to submit your story, and we will enter your name into a drawing to win a $50 BLEND prize.