After the 2012 legislature established the Minnesota-based Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) is creating legislation to fund the program.
The measure would appropriate bond and general fund dollars to help develop, create and improve infrastructure like sidewalks, trails, street crossings and bike paths to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school. Last year the Minnesota Legislature created but did not fund the Minnesota SRTS Program.
The program was created due to lack of funds from the federal SRTS. In the last funding cycle MnDOT, which adminsters the federal grant program in Minnesota received 82 applications from local schools requesting $23 million but only $3.8 million was available and rewarded to 16 applicants. High Schools under the federal program are ineligible. Transportation budget cuts in 2012 also negatively effected this program.
The goal of SRTS is to prevent injuries and deaths of children biking or walking to school.