Safe Routes to School - Minnesota Department of Health

Safe Routes to School

A Smart Investment for Our Kids and Communities

Safe Routes to School helps make it safe, convenient and fun for children to bicycle and walk to school. When kids are more active, they arrive to school focused and ready to learn!

Safe Routes to School has many benefits for Minnesota, but less than 1 percent of the state's transportation budget is currently dedicated to it.1 Demand across the state is growing: in 2015, grant applications exceeded available funding by three to one.2

Safe Routes to School can:

  • pedestrian infographicReduce the risk of pedestrian injury by 44 percent.3
  • Help build desirable communities by making it easier and safer for families and neighbors to walk and bike to school together.4
  • Bring more resources to Greater Minnesota communities. In 2015, three out of four Safe Routes to School state-funded infrastructure grants were awarded to communities in Greater Minnesota.2
  • bike infographicGet kids more active. Students who start walking or biking to school benefit from 47 more minutes of physical activity per week.5
  • Help reduce vehicle congestion & improve air quality around schools.6,7
  • Traffic related air pollution increases a child's risk of developing asthma.8

What a $6 million state investment in Safe Routes to School could mean for Minnesota:

  • Leverage an additional $2.6 million in federal funds4
  • Support implementation in 96 schools, reaching 24,400 students in grades K-8 in the first year4
  • Save $607,000 in environmental costs from vehicle use over 10 years4

How SHIP Grantees Support Safe Routes to School

Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grantees support schools and communities to create plans that are leveraged for Minnesota Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School infrastructure funding for implementation. At the state and local level, public health and transportation professionals work hand-in-hand to address access to destinations and make it easier switch some trips to walking or biking to improve health. Learn more about SHIP.

Learn More

1Minnesota Department of Management and Budget. Enacted 2017 Capital Budget. Listing of Approved Projects. Available at (Accessed June 20, 2018).
2Minnesota Department of Transportation. 2014-2015 Report on Safe Routes to School (Table 3). September 2015. Available at (Accessed June 20, 2018).
3DiMaggio, C., & Li, G. (2013). Effectiveness of a safe routes to school program in preventing school-aged pedestrian injury. Pediatrics, 131(2): 290-296.
4Watson, M., & Dannenberg, A. (2008) Investment in Safe Routes to School Projects: Public Health Benefits for the Larger Community. Preventing Chronic Disease, 5(3). (Accessed June 20, 2018).
5CHOICES Technical Brief on SRTS (forthcoming from Harvard)
6National Center for Safe Routes to School. Getting Results: SRTS Programs That Reduce Traffic.
7Zhang, K., & Batterman, S. (2013) Air pollution and health risks due to vehicle traffic. Sci Total Environ, 450-451: 307-316.
8Khreis, H., Kelly, C., Tate, J., et al. (2017). Exposure to traffic-related air pollution and risk of development of childhood asthma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environment International, 100: 1-31.
Updated Wednesday, 04-Mar-2020 20:02:23 CST