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

UERPC October Newsletter

Posted: Mon, October 15, 2018

Here are some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Final Community Visioning Meeting for All-In Plan
  • The UERPC offices will be closed for Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 12th
  • October proclaimed Healthiest State Month
  • Nature Explore Northeast Iowa Project
  • Staff Retreat Held
  • Upcoming IowaWorks Decorah Workshops
  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th - Remember to Vote!
  • Iowa DOT features Cresco in new video
... [ Read More ]

Community Workshops for "All-In" County Plan

Posted: Tue, September 25, 2018

Allamakee County is partnering with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) to develop a new comprehensive plan for the County. Dubbed All In Allamakee, or the "All-In Plan" for short, the plan will consider a host of issues and topics that affect quality of life in the County, ranging from public infrastructure and housing to parks and transportation.

There are three upcoming community workshops for the All-In Plan that will be held in Postville, Lansing, and Waukon. At these workshops, attendees will help create a countywide vision for Allamakee County’s future through interactive community visioning activities. All residents of Allamakee County, as well as those who visit or work in the county, are invited and encouraged to attend

All workshops begin at 5:00 p.m. and will last about an hour and a half. There will be a brief presentation at the start followed by interactive activities. Members of the public are free to come and go at any time during the meeting, even if they miss the beginning. Light refreshments will be provided. The schedule for the three community meetings is below.

     • Postville: Tuesday, October 9th at UERPC offices, 134 West Greene Street
     • Lansing: Wednesday, October 10th at the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center, 1944 Columbus Road
     • Waukon: Thursday, October 25th at the Senior Center at Waukon Wellness Center, 1220 3rd Avenue NW

Additionally, all residents of Allamakee County and those who visit or work in the county are invited and encouraged to give feedback on a broad array of issues by completing an online survey and a quick questionnaire. Visit the web addresses below to take the survey and answer the brief questionnaire.

Community Survey: www.tinyurl.com/yd69ng8w

Quick Questionnaire: www.tinyurl.com/ydebs423

Twitter and Instagram users are invited to tweet and share photos of everything they love about Allamakee County by using #allinallamakee. Those who participate may have their tweet or photo featured in the final plan document.

Those interested in being notified of updates and events related to the All-In Plan, as well as those interested in being part of one of the focus groups may contact Aaron Detter at adetter@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171.

... [ Read More ]

UERPC September Newsletter

Posted: Mon, September 17, 2018

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

  • Revolving Loan Fund to Assist the City of Fayette
  • UERPC Planner Achieves National Certification
  • Career Learning Link Proud
  • Lunch and Learn - Unemployment Insurance Lunch
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Hot Diggity Dog! Our Bus Got a Brand New Set of Wheels!
  • Invitation for the Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival
  • Community Meetings for Long-Range Transportation Plan
... [ Read More ]

Public invited to community meetings

Posted: Wed, September 5, 2018

Public invited to community meetings for 5-county Long-Range Transportation Plan

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) has begun development of an update to the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the region consisting of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties in northeast Iowa. The Iowa Department of Transportation requires that our region’s LRTP be updated every five years. The current plan was adopted by the Upper Explorerland Transportation Policy Board in March of 2014.

The LRTP has a 20-year planning horizon and is intended to guide transportation investments in the five-county region in support of a transportation system that is safe for all modes and users, and that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods. The plan includes a description of the region's existing conditions; identifies current transportation challenges; anticipates potential future needs; and explores various strategies for addressing those challenges and needs.

To ensure that the LRTP reflects the priorities and goals of the people who live in and visit our region, the public is invited to participate and give feedback in various ways. Community workshops have been scheduled in each of the five counties in the coming weeks. Residents of the region may attend any of the workshops, regardless of where they live.

All workshops begin at 5:00 p.m. and will last about an hour and a half. There will be a brief presentation at the start followed by interactive feedback activities. Members of the public are free to come and go at any time during the meeting, even if they miss the beginning. The schedule of community meetings is below.

  • Cresco: Monday, September 10th at NICC Cresco Center, Room 102, 1020 2nd Avenue SE
  • Fayette: Wednesday, September 12th at UIU Student Center, 2nd floor, Student Life Conference Room, 603 Washington Street
  • Calmar: Thursday, September 13th at NICC Wilder Business Center, Room 106, 1625 Highway 150 S
  • Elkader: Thursday, September 27th at Clayton County Office Facility, 600 Gunder Road NE
  • Waukon: Thursday, October 4th at the Senior Center at Waukon Wellness Center, 1220 3rd Avenue NW

 

All residents of the five counties, as well as those who visit this area, are invited and encouraged to complete an online survey about transportation in our region. Survey responses are anonymous and the more people that complete it, the stronger and more representative of the region the final plan will be.

The survey can be accessed at www.tinyurl.com/ybfo4epe. Information on the LRTP, as well as a link to the survey, are also available on UERPC’s website, www.uerpc.org.

Those interested in being notified of updates and events related to the LRTP, and anyone wishing to request a paper copy of the survey, may contact Aaron Detter at adetter@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171.

... [ Read More ]
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