COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has an opportunity for Ohio school districts or their partners to apply for funding to develop and implement projects that enable and encourage children to safely walk or bike to school.
ODOT’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is funded at $5 million annually, a one million dollar increase from last year. It provides funding for infrastructure improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, new or improved sidewalks, and bike racks. It also helps fund non-infrastructure activities such as walk to school days, bike rodeos, public awareness campaigns, and educational programs.
“Ensuring that Ohio children get to school safely by walking and biking is just as important as ensuring safe travels in a school bus or car,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The additional funding provided to this program will allow more communities and schools to make routes between home and school safe, convenient, and accessible.”
Eligible applicants include local governments, school districts, health districts, park districts, or key non-profit partners involved in advancing safe routes to school in your community. Please note, infrastructure projects can only be awarded to a city, village, county or township.
ODOT will make awards on a competitive basis to projects that have been identified in a School Travel Plan, Active Transportation Plan, or similar plan approved by the Department. For full guidance on eligibility, be sure to check out the 2023 SRTS Application Guidance.
To assist local governments in developing a School Travel Plan (STP), ODOT is also accepting applications for STP development assistance. Questions about the SRTS application process can be sent to Caitlin Harley.
Many Safe Routes to School projects have been completed throughout Ohio over the past couple of years.
In 2021, a $125,00 safety investment built new sidewalks in Union County in the Village of Richwood on Grove Street to bridge the gap between the existing residential sidewalks and North Union Elementary School.