To see Virginia's Safe Routes to School federal funding, including total funding available, awarded and obligated to date, look at our State of the States quarterly tracking report.
Virginia has funded 92 local Safe Routes to School projects totaling more than 14.8 million. Safe Routes to School projects require no local matching funds.
Visit the Virginia 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 Outreach Programs
The Virginia program provides training as requested and attempts to provide free training for all applicants.
Since 2002, the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT) has been working on Safe Routes to School in the Greater Charlottesville and Albemarle County area. ACCT’s local programs, made possible with funds from the Virginia DMV, include:
- Providing in-school pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons for thousands of area students.
- Facilitating walk-to-school events at elementary schools in both the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
- Working with school administrators, public officials, and local organizations to promote fitness and safety opportunities for the children of our community.
Harvest Foundation Martinsville/Henry County: Healthier Community
Activate Martinsville/Henry County is a three-year initiative funded by the Harvest Foundation to make this Southern Virginia community a fun, healthy, and desirable place to live by promoting walking, bicycling, and increased physical activity as a part of everyday life. Activate has a strong Safe Routes to School component, and is currently working with four area schools to develop 5-E programs. Learn more at www.activatemhc.org.
TrailsforYouth.org is a Virginia based nonprofit focused on providing opportunity and mentoring to youth on the importance of being active outdoors. One of their youth programs is the coordination and implementation of the safe routes to school elements (5 E’s - education, encouragement, evaluation, enforcement, engineering). TYO currently works with twelve (12) schools in the Northern Virginia area. They have created a variety of teams at each school, involving a combination of staff, PTA and parents. There are great variations from school to school regarding economics, location and staff support so they tailor each Safe Routes to School program based on the location and needs of the school. Some highlights of the last year are:
- Distributing 4000 pairs of gloves to students;
- Establishing both teacher-led and parent-led walking home clubs for students who are bused;
- Using Fitness Finders tokens as incentives at three schools;
- Conducting bicycle safety rodeos at every school;
- Coordinating assemblies and performances from outside vendors that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety;
- Coordinating state-wide poster effort for national submission to Saris Poster Contest;
- Providing over 500 free helmets to students
State Advisory Committee
Virginia has a state advisory committee.
If you would like to submit a success story for consideration, please email it to Margaux Mennesson.
Alexandria, VA: Reduces Bus Transportation Costs
An Alexandria, VA neighborhood school was adjacent to an active construction site as the community continued to expand, and out of safety concerns, provided hazard busing to all students living within a one-mile radius of the school. In 2008, construction was winding down so parents asked school administrators to rescind the busing policy and allow walking and bicycling to that the school. The parents’ request was aided by the fact that tight school budgets would be aided by reductions in busing costs. As a result, the school principal and the assistant school superintendent rescinded the hazard busing policy so that children could start walking and bicycling to school--a win-win situation for students and the school budget.
Charlottesville, VA: Greenbrier Elementary School: Walking School Buses
Greenbrier was the first school in Charlottesville to initiate a Safe Routes to School program. In 2003, they started weekly Walking Wednesdays events, where families are encouraged to walk to school, and buses drop kids off a few blocks from school allowing them to walk the rest of the way. Greenbrier also introduced Walking School Buses, where one or more families “picks up” other neighborhood kids on their walk to school.
Burnley-Moran Elementary School: Walking Fridays
At Burnley-Moran, parents, teachers, and students have joined forces to make walking a regular part of the school’s culture. Burnley-Moran celebrates Walking Friday events where even kids who must ride to school get a chance to participate in walking by taking a lap around the track before entering the school for the day. In the school’s "Walk to Hawaii" program, each lap around the track earns classes "miles across the country," as they race to see who can make it to Hawaii by the end of the year. Along their route, classes stop to learn about important historic landmarks across the U.S.
Woodbrook Elementary School: Walk and Bike to School Day
Woodbrook was the first school in Albemarle County to initiate a Safe Routes to School program. Beginning with a celebration of International Walk to School Day in October 2005, the school continues to explore safe walking and biking opportunities at their school.
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.
Virginia’s Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements
As of July 1, 2009, Virginia has a new policy regarding the development of streets for acceptance by VDOT for perpetual public maintenance. The most significant aspect of the revised regulation is that it introduces a change in public policy regarding the design and function a street must meet in order to be added to the state system. In essence, the regulation revises the public-private partnership between the Commonwealth and the development community. The Commonwealth agrees to maintain streets built by developers and accepted by counties to the benefit and marketability of their developments. In exchange, the developer must build streets that connect with the surrounding transportation network in a manner that enhances the capacity of the overall transportation network and accommodates pedestrians, while also minimizing the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff by reducing the street widths allowing the use of low impact development techniques. This is a significant departure from the previous policy of accepting any street that served three or more homes and was built in conformance with state design and construction standards without regards to the impact on the overall transportation network. In addition to this policy change, the new regulation also updates the inspection and surety processes and fees in an effort to streamline the process and better align costs. For more information: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/ssar/
Virginia’s Complete Streets Policy
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) adopted the Policy for Integrating Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations on March 18, 2004. It established bicycling and walking in Virginia as "fundamental travel modes and integral components of an efficient transportation network."
In late 2005, VDOT initiated two processes to ensure that the many aspects of that wide-ranging, six-page policy statement are actually realized: 1) an internal audit of VDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian programs and how the new policy statement has been interpreted and implemented to date and 2) the creation of a department-wide policy implementation team tasked with writing a detailed policy implementation plan by mid-2006.