Safe Routes to School

About Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a nationwide program with the mission to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children to bicycle and walk to school. When routes are safe, walking or biking to and from school is an easy way to get the regular physical activity children need to stay healthy. Safe Routes to School initiatives also help ease traffic jams and air pollution, unite neighborhoods, and contribute to students’ readiness to learn in school.

The City, Saint Paul Public Schools, and Ramsey County are working together to develop a Safe Routes to School program in Saint Paul to plan and create safer pathways for kids to get to school.

We are investing significant resources to improve pedestrian safety across the entire city – to continue to make Saint Paul the most livable city in America.

The mission of Safe Routes to School is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to improve the health and wellbeing of kids of all races, income levels and abilities and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone.

A Community Partnership

Our Safe Routes to School efforts have recently resulted in receiving over $1.3 Million in federal and state funding for building pedestrian infrastructure near Washington Technology Magnet School and Expo Elementary. We also received a MNDOT planning grant fund which we are usingto create school-specific Safe Routes to School Plans for Chelsea Heights, Bruce Vento, and Farnsworth Upper schools, as well as a Citywide Safe Routes to School Policy Plan.

The City – including the City Council, Police, Public Works, and Planning Departments, - Saint Paul Public Schools, and Ramsey County have created a collaboration to continue implementing Safe Routes to Schools in neighborhoods throughout Saint Paul. We know that when we work together, we can have better outcomes for all kids in Saint Paul. 

See what our partners are doing for Safe Routes to Schools:

Saint Paul Public Schools
Minnesota Department of Transportation
National Safe Routes to School

Bike/Walk to School Day on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kids, teachers, parents and police will be attending events across the city. The following Saint Paul schools will be participating with general promotion or remote bus drops, where the bus drops off some distance from school so students can walk before school and arrive to class ready to learn.  

Find all the schools that are registered for Bike Walk to School Day

Highwood Hills and Groveland will be having their Bike Walk event on May 11.

Reasons St. Paul students gave why they like walking to school: 

  1.     I like to look up at airplanes.
  2.     I like to see trees.
  3.     I like to get exercise.
  4.     I like just being alone.

The Planning

Saint Paul Safe Routes to School efforts

  • A steering committee of City, SPPS, and Ramsey County staff have been meeting since June of 2015 to shape a SRTS program in Saint Paul. The steering committee’s SRTS vision is: “Schools are the heart of the community – and people of all ages and abilities are able to safely walk, bike or take transit to and from school.”
  • In January 2016, the City and SPPS applied to MNDOT’s SRTS program for planning grant support. MNDOT funded Safe Routes to School plans for Bruce Vento Elementary, Upper Farnsworth Aerospace, and Chelsea Heights Elementary. These plans will be finalized and available in the summer of 2017.    
  • One outcome of the planning work at Upper Farnsworth was mobilizing volunteers to work with students in an after school program to repair the school’s existing, but neglected, bike fleet.
  • An additional MNDOT grant is also supporting the development of a Citywide SRTS Policy Plan, which will document national policy best practices, how to prioritize improvements to pedestrian crossings and SRTS improvements across the City with limited resources, and how to approach community engagement and SRTS. This plan will be available in the summer of 2017 and will feed into the Citywide pedestrian plan which will start being developed summer 2017.
  • The City of Saint Paul also applied for and received over $1.3 Million in federal dollars granted by the Met Council’s Regional Solicitation process to fill in sidewalk gaps in the North End (Washington Technology Magnet School), and in the Randolph-Hamline neighborhood (Expo Elementary).

Existing Safe Routes to School plans

Randolph-Hamline Schools, September 2016
Washington Technology Magnet, May 2017 

“Walking and biking to school is a rite of passage for kids. We are helping them do so safely by developing a Safe Routes to School program in Saint Paul. By investing significant resources to improve pedestrian safety across the entire city, we are making Saint Paul more walkable, bikeable, and sustainable, for generations to come.”  

- Mayor Chris Coleman