The national Safe Routes to School program again grew at an impressive rate during the first quarter (January to March) of 2008, with total committed spending jumping nearly 21 percent from $183.7 million at the end of 2007 to approximately $221.7 million at the end of March 2008. This increase of $38 million is the second largest quarterly increase in announced SRTS spending since the program began in 2006.
State Safe Routes to School Programs have now announced spending commitments for more than half (53.3 percent) of the $416 million that has been made available to states so far. $221.7 million is also about 37 percent of the total $612 million federally-provided for SRTS activities. Forty-two states have now announced spending of SRTS funds, up from 39 at the end of 2007. The National Center for Safe Routes to School continues to see the rapid growth in announced spending and the steady increase in state-level SRTS activity as a sign of the strength and promise for the national Safe Routes to School program. The $221.7 million is more than a nine-fold increase from $24.3 million in spring 2007.
All but one state (50 states, 98%) are actively involved in their funding process. With only five states remaining to announce initial spending commitments, the national program is now well established. NCSRTS anticipates continued steady increases in announced spending, but that it will begin to follow a more regular pattern, with most announced spending coming during the winter and spring. Also, with nearly 37 percent of funds now committed, and with most states having announced some spending, NCSRTS anticipates that quarterly increases will average 10 to 12 percent. Twenty-six states have now opened, closed, or announced funding for a second application cycle, and another six are in their 3rd cycle. Future announced spending will primarily come from second, third, or fourth funding cycles.SRTS programs include infrastructure improvements to make walking and bicycling safer and more appealing for children, and SRTS education, encouragement, and enforcement activities.
Key Points (Spring 2008): SRTS Spending: