For more information: Heidi Manlove, ODOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Program manager, 503-986-4196

SALEM – Teaching youngsters how to safely walk and roll along busy routes will become part of regular programming in dozens of elementary and middle schools around Oregon, thanks to the Safe Routes to School Non-Infrastructure Program. ODOT has awarded $2.3 million for the upcoming three-year grant cycle, 2020-2022. Funding for this program comes from the Federal Highway Administration. Recipients range from the Beaverton School District to Central Oregon’s Commute Options (covering Jefferson County, Sisters, Bend/La Pine, Redmond and Crook County), from the Medford School District to the city of La Grande.

ODOT received 28 applications for the Safe Routes to School Non-Infrastructure Program, totaling more than $4.4 million in funding requests. Staff used a set of principles approved by the Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee to rank the applications: safety, equity, communication, collaboration and coordination. The recommended list of eleven projects for 2020-2022 was approved by the Oregon Transportation Safety Committee on August 14.

The Safe Routes program is divided into two major areas: one that addresses infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks and intersections, and the non-infrastructure one, aimed at encouraging walking, riding bicycles and skateboards or using other means besides a car to get safely to and from school.

Infrastructure program – Project Identification results

In the infrastructure program, ODOT selected 14 communities this summer, representing 32 schools, to work with on identifying potential projects for future funding. Partners will work together to:

  • Identify barriers and solutions for students walking and rolling to/from targeted schools in these selected communities.
  • Include these solutions in a newly-created local Safe Routes to School plan.

Communities receiving this assistance are spread across the state and include Bandon, Terrebonne, Oakland, Pendleton and others. The Project Identification Program helps ensure these communities and schools are ready to apply for project funding in future award years.

The next solicitation for ODOT’s Safe Routes to School Program will be summer 2020, when approximately $26 million will be awarded through a competitive process to build street safety projects that address barriers to children walking and rolling to school.

You can keep track of the funds allocated in this program with the interactive Safe Routes to School project tracking map.