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 bike to and from school and in daily life. 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 is home to the state's first, 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 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 and Biking School Bus. A fun, safe and active way for students to travel to school with responsible supervisors.
  • 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 providing students with the knowledge, skills and practice for becoming smart, safe bike riders and pedestrians.
  • Mileage Club. Students earn rewards by walking a certain number of laps around a track, gym or school hallway. It can take place at gym class, recess or an after-school club.
  • SRTS Community Coalitions. School and community advocates join forces to build SRTS efforts and increase safety measures locally.
  • Community Walks. An active way for families to connect with others and explore their community.


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 or April Bril at 563-382-6171 or achristensen@uerpc.org / abril@uerpc.org.

"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

Upcoming Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference on January 24th

Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

It’s not too late to register! The Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference is an annual conference providing insight, idea sharing, education, and programming on all things Safe Routes to School. 6 years running, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition brings together partners and collaborators from across the state to network, learn, share ideas, and talk about best practices. This year, the Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference will be an opportunity to hear from a wide variety of professionals from public health (Angela Drent, Siouxland Public Health), transportation planning (Jeff Wiggins, City of Des Moines active transportation planner), advocates (Mike Armstrong, Des Moines Bike Collective), planners (Mindy Moore, Snyder & Associates), and Wellmark Healthy Hometown! 

We have a jam-packed day planned! Lunch will be provided for a small fee from "In-the-bag" catering. HERE  is the link to register! 

or: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/iowa-safe-routes-conference-2019-tickets-50912747398

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UPCOMING OPEN MEETING LAW SESSION

Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

Upper Explorerland RPC is happy to bring back Jeff Schott, now retired as the Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa in May 2018 to host the basic laws and concepts that apply to city councils and boards and commissions, entitled Open Meeting Laws.  The session will be held on March 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 (noon) at the Postville YMCA.

 This two-hour training program includes the following topics:

 Legal Requirements: 

·       Open Meetings Law

·       Public records Law

·       Gift Law

·       Conflicts-of-Interest

·       Other Important Laws 

Doing What Is Right:

·       Duties and Responsibilities

·       Policy Development and Analysis

·       Policy and Program Evaluation and Oversight 

Strategies for Improving Performance:  

·       Strategies for Enhancing Effectiveness

·       Orientation

·       Teamwork

·       Decision-Making

·       Acting Strategically

Jeff Schott from 2006 - 2018, he had been responsible for delivery of the Institute of Public Affairs’ organizational improvement programs, including goal setting, strategic planning, council/board effectiveness training, educational programs and information, public management assistance, and staff training, to hundreds of local governments across Iowa.

Schott has been a featured presenter regarding local government issues and concerns at numerous conferences and workshops for organizations such as the Iowa League of Cities, Municipal Leadership Academies, National League of Cities, Iowa City/County Management Association, Iowa Parks and Recreation Association, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State Association of Counties, Northeast, South Central and Des Moines metro regional leagues, and many other state and regional groups.  Schott has been an adjunct instructor in the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Publications for which Schott has been responsible include the 2016, 2012 and 2008 editions of the Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders’ Handbook, a guide for mayors, council members and city staff in Iowa. The Handbook is designed to help municipal officials understand what is expected and required of them by explaining both the details and the “big picture” involved in being a municipal policy leader.  The Handbook describes the functions and services of Iowa cities, the laws governing municipal activities and contains explanations, tips, checklists, and lists of resources useful to city officials. It provides important information on a variety of critical topics, including: mayor and council roles, council meetings, dealing with the public, financial and budgetary administration, human resources, municipal services, economic development, planning and community development, and many other vital issues.

Please RSVP to Mary Huinker at mhuinker@uerpc.org or by calling 563-864-7551.

 

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UERPC December Newsletter

Posted: Mon, December 17, 2018

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Highway Driving Safety Tips for Wildlife Collisions
  • UERPC Commission Members End Their Terms
  • Decorah's Community Visioning Designs Available for Viewing
  • Be the Change you Wish to See
  • Iowa Finance Authority Awards Funding to Housing Program
  • Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Starts January 1st
  • The UERPC offices will be closed December 24th and 25th and January 1st for the Holidays
  • Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Bank

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Holiday Giving

Posted: Thu, December 13, 2018

Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Pantry or Food Bank

The Holiday season often finds our thoughts turning to those in need.  Giving to a food pantry or food bank is a great way to give during the holidays and beyond.

For a complete listing of food panties or food banks in our area, please click below.

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