Why Safe Routes to School?
Starting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is an opportunity to make walking and biking to school safer for school children grades K-8 and to increase the number of those children who choose to walk and bicycle. On a broader level, SRTS programs:
- ease traffic congestion, enhance student transportation choice, and save school districts money on busing costs
- boost academic performance and improve classroom behavior
- increase student physical activity levels and help address Maine’s high childhood obesity rate
- decrease carbon emissions and air pollution – subsequently decreasing childhood respiratory events
Our most basic services are available to all schools and communities promoting biking and walking among children in grades K-8:
Register a Walk/Bike to School Event! Registering your event helps to communicate how important this work is! The information collected from these registrations allows the program to track the vast number of diverse biking and walking events around the state. See our one-pager, Plan a Walk or Bike to School Event for help planning your next event.
Order promotional and incentive materials – By registering your local bike and walk events with the Maine SRTS Program, you are eligible to receive FREE promotion and incentive materials to support your event.
Bicycle and pedestrian safety presentations – The SRTS Program offers FREE interactive 40-50 minute presentations on bike/walk safety to schools, YMCAs, boy/girl scout troops, and other events; emphasis on youth grades 3-6.
Technical assistance with bike rodeos – Bike safety rodeos are popular community events that actually get kids riding! The SRTS program offers technical assistance and training in how to coordinate a bicycle rodeo event. Emphasis on grades K-4. Some restrictions apply. Your group is REQUIRED to provide a local volunteer organizer, a minimum of 6 volunteers, traffic cones, and crushed lime. Check out our Draft Bicycle Rodeo Resource to learn more.
Apply to the Off Road Bicycle Education (ORBE) Program – this program seeks to educate people on 1. How to operate mountain bikes in a safe and environmentally sensitive fashion, and 2. How to lay out and build sustainable, environmentally conscientious trails that serve the needs of hikers, runners, snowshoers and bicycle riders.
One-time Instructional Rides – The SRTS Program provides Ride Leader training for one-time on-road, mountain, and trail bike rides; in some cases a SRTS program instructor will be provided as the Ride Leader. Emphasis on grades 6-8. Bikes & helmets not provided.
K-8 Safety Education Resources and Videos – Check out the sidebar for Youth Education Resources you can use to promote safe biking and walking among youth in your classroom and community.
Promote your bike and walk to school events through the Maine Safe Routes to School Blog. Email your event updates and photos to your regional SRTS representative.
Basic Technical Assistance from SRTS Staff – SRTS Staff are available for calls and up to one in-person meeting to help you implement your safe biking and walking initiatives. Email your regional SRTS representative to set up a call; their contact information is in the side bar.