Denver Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Overview

SRTS programs use a variety of strategies to improve the ability for children to safely walk and bicycle to school. Many Denver schools struggle with traffic congestion and environmental pollution. Additionally, an increasing number of children in our communities engage in less daily physical activity, contributing to Denver’s growing childhood obesity epidemic. Successful SRTS programs involve the whole community - parents, children, schools, the city, residents, neighborhoods, non-profit organizations and public health agencies.

In Denver, SRTS programming utilizes a Coalition made up of partners from Denver Environmental Health, Denver Public Schools, Denver Public Health, Denver Public Works, Bicycle Colorado, BikeDenver, Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, Walk Denver, Livewell Colorado and others. Together, this Coalition is actively working to develop systematic programming so that all Denver communities can achieve state and regional Safe Routes to Schools goals.

The approach used in Denver is modeled after many successful programs around the country that use the 5 E’s (Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, and Evaluation). The 5 E approach ensures the program works across the entire system since one “E” alone cannot create lasting change.

Learn More

If you are interested in bringing SRTS grant funding to your school, learn more about the funding process at the Colorado Department of Transportation website. Keep in mind that a motivated parent or school employee can start encouraging students to bike and walk without any funding. Learn more about starting a walking school bus, bicycle train , or remote drop-off program at your school.
Be sure that students who are walking or biking conduct a quick safety check (“you check”) before heading to school. For students riding bikes, they should be sure to fit their helmets properly (“two-finger test”) and conduct a bicycle safety check (“ABC quick check”)  before pedaling to school. Find more tips on biking and walking to school here , and learn about Colorado bicycling rules of the road.

To report concerns or questions about SRTS related issues within Denver or at your school, contact 311. Within Denver, dial 3-1-1. Outside of Dever, dial 720-913-1311. It is important to be specific when you report a concern. Saying an intersection is dangerous is helpful, but sharing the specific intersection and why it is dangerous is more helpful. The following example illustrates the specificity that is helpful: At the intersection of Fake Street and Made Up Avenue, there is only a stop sign for east and west travelers. Children try to cross the street here and have a difficult time because north south drivers don’t have to stop.

Examples of what to report:

An accident involving a walker or biker

Dangerous intersection

Bushes that block a sidewalk

Potholes in the road

Needed infrastructure such as a bike rack or bike pumps

A walk signal that is too short for people to cross.

Contact Us

For questions, comments, or suggestions please contact:

Ashley Frederick
Department of Environmental Health
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Strategic Plan

Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan