Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement to enable and encourage students to safely walk and bicycle to and from school. SRTS programs are the result of parents, schools, communities and government joining forces to improve the health and safety of our children, our future leaders.

SRTS programs focus on the "5E's":

  1. Education efforts to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills
  2. Encouragement activities to build interest and enthusiasm
  3. Enforcement measures to address safety issues
  4. Engineering solutions to maintain traffic control devices and physical infrastructure
  5. Evaluation methods to monitor impact and identify areas for improvement and growth

Northeast Iowa has the state's ONLY rural, regional SRTS program, which serves over 10,000 K-8th students in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. The Northeast Iowa SRTS Program, managed by UERPC’s Regional SRTS Coordinator, partners with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative to increase physical activity among students and advocate for safe community routes in many ways:

  • Walking School Bus. A Walking School Bus is a group of students walking to/from school with responsible supervisors. It can take place daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Remote Drop-off. This is a variation of a Walking School Bus. Students who live far from the school can be dropped off at a location away from school grounds to walk the remaining trip to school.
  • Bike Rodeo.  A Bike Rodeo is a popular and fun event teaching children how to properly and safely ride a bike.
  • Mileage Club. Students earn rewards by walking a certain number of laps around a track, gym or school hallway. It could take place at gym class, recess or an after-school club.
  • Active Classroom Learning. Sneak physical activity into classroom learning. One example is Stories in Motion, where students act out stories as they are read aloud.
  • SRTS Community Coalitions. School and community advocates join forces to build SRTS efforts and increase safety measures locally.

Children feel better when they are active.  They are hardwired to move.  Their bodies need it, and their brains need it.

In today's world, however, our kids are not moving enough.  As a society, we have created a culture of convenience at the expense of our health, and no one suffers more than our kids.  This culture of convenience is the reason why today's generation of children is projected to live shorter life spans than their parents.  This is unacceptable.

By creating more opportunities for children to be physically active on a daily basis, we CAN make things better.  One of the best ways to do this is through supporting SRTS.  While SRTS programs are geared toward students and schools, it's really the community as a whole that benefits.  When routes to school and other community locations are safe and accessible for children, they are safe and accessible FOR EVERYONE because we are all pedestrians at some point during the day.

SRTS is the answer to creating a better world for our children, our school, our communities and ourselves.  Join the SRTS effort today by contacting Ashley Christensen, Regional Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Northeast Iowa at 563-382-6171 or

"I am way too busy - but I enjoy this, and love the kids!  If it were any other time of day I could not make it work.  I am not an "earlybird" by any means, but I have really enjoyed this."
~Volunteer for morning Walking School Bus in West Union

"This was so well publicized and ran. My entire family enjoyed ourselves during the event and the kids were so excited to get practice on their big-boy bikes! I hope you continue doing it."
~Parent who attended the North Fayette Valley Bike Rodeo

News Headlines

UERPC October Newsletter

Posted: Mon, October 17, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about:

  • Apprenticeship Opportunities
  • Board Spotlight-Patti Ruff
  • Disaster Funding Available
  • NEIRHTF Accepting Applications
  • Daylight Savings
  • Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program
... [ Read More ]

UERPC September Newsletter

Posted: Mon, September 19, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about this month:

  • Bank of the West Donation to the NEIRHTF
  • UERPC Board Spotlight-Larry Schellhammer
  • Clayton County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigan Plan approved
  • Candidate Class Cancelled
  • SBA Offers Disaster Assistance
  • NE IA Clerk's Meeting and Workshop
  • Rural Business Development Grant
  • Victims of Flooding
  • Alliant Energy Rebates
... [ Read More ]

Bank of the West Charitable Investment Grant

Posted: Wed, August 24, 2016

A grant from Bank of the West’s Charitable Investments program, was awarded to Upper Explorerland’s Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund (NEIRHTF) on behalf of Winneshiek County Development, Inc., in the amount of $4,000 to benefit the organization's housing programs throughout northeast Iowa. The NEIRHTF serves all of Allamakee, Clayton, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties. The goal of this program is to develop, redevelop, rehabilitate, and renovate single-family and/or multi-family owner-occupied and rental dwellings. These funds can be used for roof repair, furnace repair and replacement, energy efficiency updates, electrical and plumbing, handicap accessibility, homebuyer assistance, etc.
For more information about the program, please contact Lori Brockway or Sarah Snitker at 563-864-7551 or by visiting


... [ Read More ]

UERPC August Newsletter

Posted: Wed, August 17, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about this month:

  • Safe Routes to School
  • Employee Spotlight-Ross Hadley
  • NICC Offers Class "Creating a Respectful Workplace"
  • NEIRHTF is accepting applications
  • Walkability Workshop
... [ Read More ]
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