Engaging Congress in SRTS

A Toolkit to Help You Plan Site Visits and Member Meetings

Congress created the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in 2005.  And in 2012, Congress folded the Safe Routes to School program into the new Transportation Alternatives program.

With the new Transportation Alternatives structure, it is even more important to engage policymakers at all levels in understanding why Safe Routes to School is important. 

  • Members of Congress will revisit the transportation law again in 2014 when the current law, MAP-21, expires.  This provides an opportunity to sustain and even strengthen Safe Routes to School.
  • Governors, state departments of transportation leaders and state legislators decide how much funding is spent for Transportation Alternatives, how the program is structured and whether Safe Routes to School is maintained as its own application process.
  • Large metropolitan planning organizations will have their own Transportation Alternatives funding to support projects, including Safe Routes to School, and can therefore determine whether your community gets funding.
  • Local elected officials like mayors, county executives and city councilors can help support your applications for funding and increase the odds that your Safe Routes to School projects get funded.

With your help, we can engage elected officials in communities throughout the country and help ensure that they understand the positive impact that federal SRTS dollars are having on children and families in their communities. With your help, we can convince Congress to strengthen and increase funding for SRTS.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has created a toolkit, called A Toolkit for Building Congressional Champions, to help you plan an event or meeting with your Member of Congress. The toolkit contains step-by-step instructions, templates, tools and resources to conceptualize the event or meeting, invite your Member of Congress, and carry out a successful event or meeting. The toolkit is available in two formats:

You can connect Members of Congress and other policymakers with the impact of SRTS—through events you may already be planning for your families, communities and schools. All it takes is a little planning—which is what the Toolkit for Building Congressional Champions is there to help you with. Please also don’t hesitate to contact Margo Pedroso with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, if you need any help during the process or would like to share your site visit story.