North Carolina Safe Routes to School State Network
North Carolina is one of seven jurisdictions participating in the Safe Routes to School state network project (network project), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. North Carolina has been a network state since 2012. The network project's goal is to advance state-level policy reform, resulting in the award and obligation of federal transportation funds, street-scale improvements and joint-use agreements.
The North Carolina network's action plan can be viewed here. You can follow activities of the North Carolina Safe Routes to School state network in our blog section, on Twitter, on Facebook and on the state-specific website; this site features meeting announcements and local success stories.
From 2005-2012, each state received federal funding specifically for Safe Routes to School projects via the federal transportation legislation SAFETEA-LU. Many states still have funds remaining from the Safe Routes to School program; see our State of the States quarterly tracking report to see whether this funding is still available in North Carolina. To learn more about federal funding for Safe Routes to School, read through the Five Steps to Federal Funding: A Brief Explanation of the Safe Routes to School Program Process. You can find additional resources in our national learning network too.
In July 2012, Congress passed a new transportation bill, MAP-21, which consolidated several bicycling and walking programs, including Safe Routes to School, into a new program called Transportation Alternatives. Starting in 2013, states have the option to continue running standalone Safe Routes to School programs or to have Safe Routes to School projects contend with other types of projects in a Transportation Alternatives competition; see our state Transportation Alternatives snapshot chart to learn more about your state’s decisions on how it will implement this program.
Additional information on how Transportation Alternatives works is available in our National Policy section.
Since 2005, 79 projects totaling approximately $10 million have been selected for funding in North Carolina.
Visit the North Carolina Safe Routes to School program website for more information.
For more information on the steps you need to take to get started, read through the Five Steps to Federal Funding: A Brief Explanation of the Safe Routes to School Program Process. You can find additional resources in our national learning network too.
State Advisory Committee
North Carolina currently does not have a State Advisory Committee.
State Outreach Programs
North Carolina’s Safe Routes to School program offers the Safe Routes to School National Course workshops to interested schools on an as-requested basis. State-trained instructors teach these courses at no cost to attendees. There have been to date, 68 workshop schools, 48 APSA schools, 19 IN schools, 6 Demonstration schools, 22 NIN 2nd cycle schools, 13 NIN 1st cycle schools, and 42 Division schools. Not all requests that are received can be granted.
North Carolina Safe Routes to School program is honoring requests for speakers at various Rural Planning Organizations (RPO), Metropolitan Planning Organizations, public health conferences, individual schools, and communities interested in starting Safe Routes to School programs. In addition, North Carolina has presented at the state’s Department of Public Instruction’s Healthy Schools Institute and the NC Pupil Transportation Association Conference, and Department of Health and Human Services Successful Students Committee.
An evaluation requirement is included as a condition of grant award for all Safe Routes to School projects. At a minimum, each grant recipient must utilize the In-class Student Travel Tally and the Parent Survey provided by the National Center for Safe Routes to School as a means of collecting pre- and post-implementation data. Questions regarding other evaluation techniques are included in the grant applications
North Carolina currently promotes a statewide program that enhances pedestrian and bicycling safety and encourages walking and biking by school children. Called the Basics of Bicycling Curriculum Initiative. This elementary school-level course was developed in 1990 by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) and the Bicycle Federation of America (now the National Center for Bicycling and Walking). More than half of the 120 school systems across North Carolina have used the program, which currently reaches approximately 60,000 fourth and fifth graders annually. The curriculum includes seven lessons, requiring seven classes that cover bike handling, traffic, high-risk situations, and rules of the road.
If you would like to submit a success story for consideration, please email it to Terry Lansdell.
- North Carolina Slows Down Traffic in School Zones
“Your Speed” signs found to be effective
- Brevard, NC — Brevard Elementary
Brevard Elementary School students and recreational walkers in the 7,000-person community in Brevard, NC, will benefit from the Gallimore Road multi-use path to be constructed with a $250,000 Safe Routes to School infrastructure grant awarded in 2008 to the city from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Read more here.
- Chapel Hill, NC – Collaboration spreads Safe Routes to School programs
Chapel Hill, NC, is a town of partnerships and relationships; between the University of North Carolina and the Town Council, residents and college students and community groups and schools. One such relationship is between the local elementary schools, local government and Go! Chapel Hill Active Living by Design, a national program that helped to facilitate the spread and success of the Active Routes to School program in Chapel Hill. Find out more here.
- Mooresville, NC – Walking and Wheeling to Success
The first Walking and Wheeling Day at Lake Norman Elementary School in Mooresville, NC, was inspired by none other than one persistent third grade student at the school. Read more here.
Find out which organizations in your state have pledged their support for the Safe Routes to School movement. If your organization isn't yet a partner affilate, we would love for you to join us; it's free! Find more info on joining here.
North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 817- Could impact bicycle and pedestrian funding, impact funding for future stand-alone bicycle and pedestrian projects, impact the state match for future bicycle and pedestrian projects.
North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 992- Could place speed cameras at school zones and work zones across the state and use revenue to support driver education program funding from the North Carolina Department of Transportation in public schools.