The main objectives of the Safe Routes to School program are:
- To enable and encourage children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school.
- To make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle from an early age.
- To 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.
The Safe Routes to School Program is a federally funded reimbursement program that was established in August 2005 by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Under our current legislation, the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding does not provide for a standalone Safe Routes to School Program. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has elected to continue funding the Safe Routes program separately.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Success
Applying for Safe Routes funding is time consuming and involves multiple requirements, which means multiple ways to miss something and not receive funding. However, there are ways to ensure your application does not get disqualified for simple mistakes and has the maximum opportunity to be considered for its merits. Here are some things to pay special attention to and to take advantage of to improve your chances of receiving Safe Routes funding.
Avoid Common Mistakes
- Your responsible charge must be a full-time public employee. Part-time employees or employees of consultant firms or non-profits listed as responsible charge will disqualify your application.
- Don’t forget to attach signed resolutions of support for your project. Applications must include signed resolutions of support for school boards, municipalities, and any entity relevant to the project as well as maintenance commitments. Many applicants forget to attach resolutions or their attachments are not signed. Don’t overlook your resolutions. You will not have the opportunity to send them in after the application deadline has passed.
Assistance is available for applicants of Safe Routes funding.
Cross County Connection is the designated Safe Routes Regional Coordinator for South Jersey. For assistance contact Latifah Sunkett at (856) 596-8228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. New Jersey Department of Transportation has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to clarify some important points about Safe Routes.
Didn’t receive funding for a Safe Routes Application? Find out why!
Projects are selected on a competitive basis; however, some projects are disqualified due to easy to correct mistakes (unsigned resolutions, improper responsible charge, missing attachments, etc.). You can contact the New Jersey Department of Transportation for a debriefing about your application.
Any other questions? Don’t hesitate to ask us!
Don’t wait until the last minute!
SJTPO and Cross County Connection are happy to assist you but need time to help get you the answers or assistance you need. Give yourself the time to ensure you don’t make simple mistakes. You will not have the opportunity to correct mistakes after the application deadline has passed.
The SRTS program is funded through the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Aid Program and is being administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), in partnership with the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).
County, municipal governments, school districts, and schools are eligible to apply to the program. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible as direct grant recipients for this solicitation. However, non-profit organizations may partner with a local public agency that will assume responsibility and administration for the grant.
Infrastructure projects include the planning, design, and construction or installation of sidewalks, crosswalks, signals, traffic-calming, and bicycle facilities.
NJDOT will solicit SRTS grant applications for infrastructure projects only. The Safe Routes to School Application Guidance explains the infrastructure program’s eligibility requirements, guides the applicant through the application, and describes the process by which projects are selected.
All applicants will be required to submit their applications using SAGE (System for Administering Grants Electronically). Training and instructions on how to apply are available here.