Safe Routes to School

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Federal program promoting walking and biking as modes of transportation to school
  • Administered by local government, school districts, and metropolitan planning organizations
  • Aims to increase active transportation and physical activity for improved health outcomes
  • Aims to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety and reduce emissions and vehicle miles traveled

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

  • Increases physical activity for students
  • Improves safety (reduces bullying, exposure to gang violence, and sexual assault/attacks)
  • Reduces motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities
  • Reduces transportation's contribution to air pollution

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Identify partners, including those already working on community safety and violence prevention and explore collaboration.
  • Gather qualitative and quantitative data to understand the local realities around crime, violence, and fear.
  • Work with community members to identify priorities and strategies.
  • Violence and crime prevention efforts rooted in community engagement are more likely to be successful.