Texas Transportation Commission Funds Safe Routes to School Proposals
Three Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant proposals submitted by the BikeTexas Education Fund (EF) to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in November, 2010 were approved for funding on May 27, 2010 by the Texas Transportation Commission. Of over 280 projects submitted, 200 were funded by the Commission after a thorough review process by TxDOT staff and the TxDOT Bicycle Advisory Committee. Of the total $54 million awarded, BikeTexas EF will receive about $1.4 million for its three successful proposals.
“BikeTexas has been committed to Safe Routes to School since we worked to pass the Matthew Brown Act in 2001,” said Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas. “We appreciate the confidence that the Texas Transportation Commission has in us to continue our long-term collaboration for the benefit of Texas schoolchildren.”
The Safe Routes to School Statewide Teacher Certification Program will continue a BikeTexas EF initiative to certify Physical Education teachers, public safety officers and other youth program professionals to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety to Texas schoolchildren. BikeTexas EF has certified over 3700 teachers and others since 1998 through an earlier version on the program.
The Safe Routes to School Statewide Resources Distribution Program will continue distribution of children’s safety booklets at no charge to schools, Texas Education Agency service centers and police departments, and will add other materials such as red blinking lights for children’s bikes, backpacks or clothing.
The Safe Routes to School Our Rich Texas History Program will create an online environment where children can learn about biking/walking safety while logging their biking and walking miles for “virtual travel” along the Chisholm Trail, El Camino Real and other historic journeys through our great state.
BikeTexas EF, a statewide nonprofit organization based in Austin, was founded in 1991 with the mission to advance bicycle access, safety and education. Pedestrian safety has also become a part of the BikeTexas EF program. which currently operates the ParentsPlus Bicycling and Walking Safety Program, also funded by TxDOT, and the BikeTexas Kids Kup Bike Safety and Racing Program in Texas.