Department of Transportation

safe routes to school graphic

Demonstration Programs

The New Jersey Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is the result of a series of planning and developmental activities resulting in a comprehensive and flexible strategy to assist New Jersey communities in developing and implementing projects that encourage safe walking and bicycling to school. One key to the success of the New Jersey SRTS Program was to "test the waters" with two pilot demonstration programs. The lessons learned in these early stages helped to shape and guide the program over time.

In 2005, the Demonstration Program consisted of pilot testing the New Jersey SRTS program in three communities - urban, suburban and rural - to determine the similarities and differences among these three community types. In 2008, the purpose of the Urban Demonstration Program was to determine what obstacles to SRTS exist in New Jersey's cities, to verify how they are different from the challenges faced in other areas of the state and to develop a quality SRTS Action Plan for six urban schools that could be replicated elsewhere. In 2009, the Urban Demonstration Program was extended to two additional schools.

2005 - New Jersey SRTS Demonstration Program

This demonstration program explored thedemonstration program graphic ways New Jersey public schools and municipalities could collaborate in launching SRTS activities by conducting a trial run in three New Jersey communities. The outcomes were a list of short- and long-term physical improvements recommended for the walking and biking infrastructure and a collaborative Action Plan outlining future school-led SRTS activity. Schools were selected based on applications that demonstrated that both the schools and municipalities together were "ready, willing and able" to participate. Objectives were to select schools representing a range of conditions, such as community context (urban, suburban, rural) and geographic location.

Goal: To establish a network of people who could advance SRTS initiatives that are responsive to the unique needs of the school and community.

Process: To bring together people from diverse organizations who could apply their insight, skills and powers to create the conditions necessary for students to walk and bike to school.

Each school and municipality identified a lead coordinator who acted as a liaison among the school, the municipality, the community advocates and the consultant team.

With the help of the Transportation Management Assocations (TMAs), the coordinators:

  • organized a SRTS Workshop: “A Day of Discovery”
  • conducted student and parent surveys
  • gathered key information to identify issues and opportunities
Results: Action Plans were prepared for each school/municipality. Each action plan recommends priority projects and activities that the school,

municipality and community can advance to promote safe walking and biking to school.

jamesburg recommendation graphic

Jamesburg recommendation
from Action Plan

2008 - New Jersey SRTS Urban Demonstration Program
The purpose of the New Jersey SRTS Urban Demonstration Program was to fulfill the objectives of the Federal urban demonstration sites graphic Highway Administration's (FHWA) SRTS Program Development Guidance in providing technical assistance to diverse participants (urban, rural and disadvantaged) to ensure that they can "fairly compete for SRTS funds". Two schools were selected in Trenton, in Camden and in Newark based on the severity of pedestrian crashes, their designated status as "Major Urban Centers/Urban Aid Communities" or "Abbott School Districts", unsuccessful 2007 SRTS funding applications and previous requests to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) regarding SRTS concerns. With the understanding that the majority of students in these schools were already walking, the New Jersey SRTS Urban Demonstration Program resulted in six unique community SRTS Action Plans that provided the tools and resources to improve the students' walking or bicycling trips to and from school within the context and culture of their neighborhoods.

Goal: Ensure that all children, regardless of where they live, can benefit from SRTS programs.

Process: The Program actively engaged urban school and community members, including its youth, to become resources of empowerment and stewards for behavior change. Challenges and opportunities were identified through a series of interviews, research, filed investigations and workshops.

Results: Six unique community SRTS Programs that, with school and community commitment, provide the tools and resources to phase in changes for improving students' walking and biking trips to school.

2009 - New Jersey SRTS Extended Urban Demonstration Program
Given the commitment to SRTS exhibited by the Camden stakeholders, the unique partnership established between neighboring public and charter schools, and at the City's request, NJDOT agreed to provide additional resources to help Camden jumpstart their city-wide SRTS program. In 2009, NJDOT launched their Extended New Jersey Safe Routes to School Urban Demonstration Program in Camden, which built on lessons learned from the previous Urban Demonstration Program, and provided SRTS assistance to two additional Camden schools.

Goal and Process: As an extension of the Urban Demonstration Program, this effort followed the same goal and process.

Results: Two additional community SRTS Programs in Camden.

Last updated date: September 6, 2019 11:18 AM