• Let your elected officials know that you support funding for Safe Routes to School!

FABB was pleased to hear that, for the eighth year in a row, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will receive Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program funding. This grant for the next school year will continue the work with all elementary and middle schools to promote walking and biking safely to school. In the coming year, the program will focus efforts to increase the number of students walking and biking at Dogwood Elementary, Crestwood, Annandale Terrace, Braddock, Mount Eagle Elementary Schools and Rocky Run and Stone Middle Schools.

The SRTS Program has done so much to educate students on pedestrian and bicycle safety, increase their daily physical activity, and help them arrive at school energized and ready to learn. Its 2021 Bike to School Day last month was a great success with forty-three schools and families participating. Several students at Dogwood Elementary received helmets from INOVA Trauma Services while wrist bands, book marks, and helmet posters were distributed to all of the schools that signed up to participate.

Unfortunately, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced recently that the SRTS program’s federal funding (under Section 1404 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)) will be exhausted with this year’s grants. Absent legislation to provide additional federal funding, Virginia counties that want an SRTS program must now self-fund or find other funding.

FABB encourages everyone who values the program—and this should be everyone because educating a generation of children in traffic safety and active lifestyle benefits us all—to let your county, state, and federal elected officials know that funding the SRTS program is a cost-effective and worthwhile way to advance multiple transportation, safety, health, and environmental goals. Tell them to provide the funds to hire full-time program coordinators and to support robust education programs with adequate training bikes and other equipment.

FABB is making SRTS funding a major advocacy goal for the coming year. Won’t you join us and help make bicycling better in Fairfax County? Contact us at [email protected].

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