Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement to enable and encourage students to safely walk and bike to and from school and in daily life. SRTS programs are the result of parents, schools, communities and government joining forces to improve the health and safety of our children, our future leaders.

SRTS programs focus on the "5E's":

  1. Education efforts to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills
  2. Encouragement activities to build interest and enthusiasm
  3. Enforcement measures to address safety issues
  4. Engineering solutions to maintain traffic control devices and physical infrastructure
  5. Evaluation methods to monitor impact and identify areas for improvement and growth


Northeast Iowa is home to the state's first, rural, regional SRTS program, which serves over 10,000 K-8th students in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. The Northeast Iowa SRTS Program, managed by UERPC partners with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative to increase physical activity among students and advocate for safe community routes in many ways:

  • Walking and Biking School Bus. A fun, safe and active way for students to travel to school with responsible supervisors.
  • Remote Drop-off. This is a variation of a Walking School Bus. Students who live far from the school can be dropped off at a location away from school grounds to walk the remaining trip to school.
  • Bike Rodeo.  A Bike Rodeo is a popular and fun event providing students with the knowledge, skills and practice for becoming smart, safe bike riders and pedestrians.
  • Mileage Club. Students earn rewards by walking a certain number of laps around a track, gym or school hallway. It can take place at gym class, recess or an after-school club.
  • SRTS Community Coalitions. School and community advocates join forces to build SRTS efforts and increase safety measures locally.
  • Community Walks. An active way for families to connect with others and explore their community.


Children feel better when they are active.  They are hardwired to move.  Their bodies need it, and their brains need it.

In today's world, however, our kids are not moving enough.  As a society, we have created a culture of convenience at the expense of our health, and no one suffers more than our kids.  This culture of convenience is the reason why today's generation of children is projected to live shorter life spans than their parents.  This is unacceptable.

By creating more opportunities for children to be physically active on a daily basis, we CAN make things better.  One of the best ways to do this is through supporting SRTS.  While SRTS programs are geared toward students and schools, it's really the community as a whole that benefits.  When routes to school and other community locations are safe and accessible for children, they are safe and accessible FOR EVERYONE because we are all pedestrians at some point during the day.

SRTS is the answer to creating a better world for our children, our school, our communities and ourselves.  Join the SRTS effort today by contacting Ashley Christensen or April Bril at 563-382-6171 or achristensen@uerpc.org / abril@uerpc.org.

"I am way too busy - but I enjoy this, and love the kids!  If it were any other time of day I could not make it work.  I am not an "earlybird" by any means, but I have really enjoyed this."
~Volunteer for morning Walking School Bus in West Union

"This was so well publicized and ran. My entire family enjoyed ourselves during the event and the kids were so excited to get practice on their big-boy bikes! I hope you continue doing it."
~Parent who attended the North Fayette Valley Bike Rodeo


News Headlines

UERPC February Newsletter

Posted: Mon, February 18, 2019

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Call for Applications - Multi-Modal Transportation Grants
  • Employee Spotlight Katie Nolte
  • And the Winner is....  2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards
  • Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Reminder
  • Requesting Vendors for the 2019 STEM Festival
  • FREE Friday Morning Open Gyms
  • Fern Rissman is Retiring
  • The UERPC offices are closed for Presidents Day

... [ Read More ]

February 20th RPA-1 Transportation Meetings Cancelled

Posted: Thu, February 7, 2019

Due to a winter storm warning and expected snow accumulation, all three RPA-1 transportation meetings scheduled for February 20, 2019 in Postville are cancelled and will be rescheduled. This includes the Enhancement Committee meeting at 9:00 a.m., the Technical Committee meeting at 10:00 a.m., and the Policy Board meeting at 11:00 a.m.

... [ Read More ]

Feb. 7 RPA Meetings Cancelled

Posted: Thu, February 7, 2019

The Iowa 511 road conditions website is showing every highway in the area partially covered with mixed snow, ice, or slush. Many schools have been delayed. To keep everyone safe, and to ease any potential schedule hardships due to delays, todays’ RPA-1 meetings are cancelled and will be rescheduled.

This includes all three RPA-1 meetings originally scheduled for today: Enhancement Committee (9 a.m.), Technical Committee (10 a.m.), and Policy Board (11 a.m.).

Thank you all, and be safe!

... [ Read More ]

Call for Applications - Multi-Modal Transportation Grants

Posted: Tue, January 29, 2019

The Transportation Policy Board of Regional Planning Affiliation 1 (RPA-1) in northeast Iowa is pleased to announce the call for applications for Iowa’s Transportation Alternatives Program (Iowa’s TAP) and Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program for diverse transportation projects in our region and communities. Iowa’s TAP and STBG are federal funding programs that require a 20% local match. Eligible STBG road and bridge projects may be swapped for state funding through Iowa DOT’s Swap Program.

Prospective applicants are reminded that all projects eligible for Iowa’s TAP funding are also eligible for STBG funding.

Eligible applicants include all public agencies and local governments within RPA-1 that have jurisdiction over public rights-of-way for transportation (including walking and bicycling facilities); public transportation agencies; and agencies with transportation planning responsibilities. RPA-1 includes the Counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek and the public agencies and local governments with jurisdictions therein.

The current application cycle is for funding in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023. RPA-1 is expected to have approximately $2.7 million in STBG and $171,000 in Iowa’s TAP available for distribution. Applications for both programs are due February 28, 2019.

Visit UERPC's Transportation page (link below) to find the STBG project application and instructions as well as the TAP application and separate instructions and priority criteria sheet.

Contact Aaron Detter with any questions about eligibility at 563-382-6171 or adetter@uerpc.org, or contact any member of the RPA-1 Technical Committee with specific road or street project questions (contact info included in attached STBG instructions).

... [ Read More ]
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