Program organization

Chagrin Falls, Ohio: Comprehensive Safe Routes to School Program built around village cooperation and core goals of safety and encouragement

Safe Routes Chagrin is a truly cooperative endeavor which has improved safety and encouraged more students to walk and bike while building a sustainable program supported by the entire community.


Chagrin Falls is a village of about 4,000 residents located 17 miles southeast of Cleveland.  The village school system includes an elementary school (grades K-3), an intermediate school (grades 4-6, school population about 480), a middle school (grades 7-8, school population about 320), and a high school.

January Webinar: Walk Talk— The SRTS Call-In Show Webinar

Think talk radio is just for radio?  Think again.

From Mr. Anthony in the 1930s to Click and Clack, Joe and Terry, Rush, and Diane Rehm today, people love the call-in format.  We ask questions, we get answers.  Simple.

People who work on SRTS programs are no different.  We like answers to our questions, too.  And now we have our own call-in show, sort of, offering expert advice to overcome the challenges we face in achieving our most ardent SRTS dreams.

National Center Launches Walking School Bus Online Training

The National Center announced in November the release of The Walking School Bus Program: A Primer and First Steps, an online audio/video training program that provides strategies and tips for planning a Walking School Bus program.

Joke contest hatches award winning Safe Routes to School program

[Editor’s note: This article is longer than the normal Safe Routes Matters article, but with good reason: it is chock-full of great ideas for Safe Routes to School programs.  We have included links to key ideas to make navigating easier.]
Key Ideas
Evaluation and planning  ||  Improving infrastructure
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Mini Grant helps El Paso school on military base grow bike licensing program

Milam Elementary in El Paso, Texas, has a unique method for keeping students safe and cycling.  For the past six years, Milam (pronounced MY-lum) has given a bike license to each student in grades 3, 4 and 5 who passes a written and skills test after a two-week bicycle safety course.  The license allows those students to ride their bikes to school on their own (that year OR for the duration of their time at the school).

Volunteers and Liability: The Federal Volunteer Protection Act

A federal law—the Volunteer Protection Act—provides volunteers with significant protections from liability associated with volunteer activity in every state but one.  Some states also have laws that provide additional protections for volunteers.

This fact sheet, developed in 2010 by the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN), a ChangeLab Solutions project, provides an overview of legal protections designed to shield volunteers from liability.

Explore other program tools:

Minimizing Your Liability Risk

This fact sheet, developed in 2010 by the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN), a ChangeLab Solutions project, explains why liability fears shouldn’t stop school districts from supporting SRTS programs.  It provides an overview of liability and negligence, and offers practical tips on how school districts and others can reduce their risk of liability.

Observation of a School: Understanding Walking and Biking Safety Issues

The best way to understand walking and bicycling safety issues at a particular school is by observing students arriving or departing during a normal school day. This includes observing children as they walk or bike the routes to school, how they cross streets, the interactions they have with cars and buses on the school campus, and how they make their way to the school door. The goal is to identify two main things:

December Webinar: Fresh Ideas from the 2012 Oberstar SRTS Award Program

As the importance of drawing upon community assets to sustain SRTS programs continues to grow, thinking beyond the "usual suspects" as partners is more important than ever.  In this sixty minute program, we will highlight partner ideas from four outstanding programs that provide wonderful examples of building strong ties with other community organizations.

Getting There Together: A Message from the Director

So much has happened since our last Safe Routes Matters.  So many important decisions, events and announcements that will help to move forward the idea behind Safe Routes to School.  Starting with International Walk to School Day, the lucky seventh since the National Center was formed.  Once again the country set a new record for the number of registered events—4,250 to date, with one week of reporting to go.  All of you reading this had something to do with making that happen, so a big congratulations to you.