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Program Summary
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Safe Routes Efforts

Safe Routes Efforts

Walking and bicycling to school allow children to expend energy and keep fit. Safe Routes to School increases the number of students who walk and bike, while strengthening community relationships and neighborhood safety. Through a web of support involving parents, community organizations, the City of Minneapolis and schools, safe routes are established and maintained in a variety of ways to fit each community's needs. 

The Minneapolis Public Schools Safe Routes to School Strategic Action Plan was completed in summer of 2017. Providing fun, safe, and convenient opportunities for youth to walk and bike not only improves wellness, connectedness, and quality of life, but it is also one piece of achieving the academic goals of MPS. The plan brings a focus on equity throughout all SRTS actions and in coordination between MPS, City, and Hennepin County staff. Together with many partners, MPS will work toward a vision where all students have opportunities to walk and bike, where communities are safe and connected, and where the beauty that Minneapolis offers is accessible to all.
SRTS History in MPS:
During school year 2014-15 and into 2015-16, Minneapolis Public Schools’ Operational & Security Services and Transportation departments worked in partnership to review the Minneapolis Public Schools model for student walk areas. Funding was provided by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and was administered through the Minneapolis Health Department. Walk areas are the geographical areas in which students live and walk to school. School bus service is not offered in these areas except for students who have special needs. The report "Student Walk Areas in Minneapolis Public Schools: History, Assessment and Recommendations for the Future" (see below) examines the current walk area model, identifies concerns, looks at the practices of other urban, similarly sized school districts, and offers recommendations for updating current and establishing future student walk areas.
The report "Safe Routes Efforts in Minneapolis Public Schools" (see below) describes walk and bike-to-school programming in three MPS schools: Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, Seward Montessori School and Lyndale Community School. Sidebars in the report also mention efforts at Burroughs, Armatage and Waite Park. The report examines successes, challenges and next steps and is a great read for those looking to start or expand Safe Routes activities.
The City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Public Schools have developed a Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan. The report "Minneapolis Safe Routes to School Helping Minneapolis Youth Be Lean and Green" (see below) generated recommendations for increasing biking and walking to school and established a strong foundation for City and District collaboration.
The Safe Routes to School Toolkit was developed in the 2009-2010 school year (see below). It still offers helpful guidance for starting Safe Routes Efforts.