The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


TTAP Newsletter: RoadTalk

Tennessee Safe Routes to School Program Announces Grant Opportunities

by Dr. Melany Noltenius

The Tennessee Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program assists schools across the state in their efforts to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety for students at levels ranging from kindergarten through the eighth grade. SRTS is a federally-funded program focusing on infrastructure improvements within two miles of an elementary or middle school and non-infrastructure activities that encourage elementary and middle school students to safely walk and bike to school. Projects and activities are 100 percent federally funded for fiscal year 2015.

There are two current opportunities for schools, cities, or counties that wish to participate in the SRTS program. First, TDOT will host a series of SRTS Application workshops to introduce potential applicants to the program, define eligible and ineligible expenses and activities, and provide an opportunity for interaction with SRTS staff from TDOT and UT. The second opportunity will provide encouragement items for schools that register to hold a walk to school event in conjunction with the International Walk to School Day 2014 on October 8.

Workshops are being held across the state in September 2014 to assist county and local governments in understanding the SRTS program. The workshop consists of an explanation of the application, the selection criteria, and expectations of selected grant recipients. It is required that a qualified representative of the applicant school, such as a city or county employee, attend a workshop. One workshop will be held in each of the four TDOT regions:

  • Monday, September 22 - 12:30pm - 4:00pm EDT - Agriculture Building, 270 Bryan Road, Rutledge, TN 37861;
  • Tuesday, September 23 - 12:30pm - 4:00pm CDT - White County Courthouse, 1 East Bockman Way, Sparta, TN 38583;
  • Wednesday, September 24 - 12:30pm - 4:00pm CDT - Hickman County Career Center, 130 Progress Center Plaza, Centerville, TN 37033, and
  • Thursday, September 25 - 12:30pm - 4:00pm CDT - GEMC Building, 402 Egg Hill Rd, Alamo, TN 38001.

Registration for each workshop is limited to 40 people. Please register at least one week prior to the training date and include your name, organization, address, phone, email and preferred workshop location. To register, fax or e-mail Diana Benedict, Safe Routes to School Coordinator at (615) 741-9673 or

In addition to the workshops, the Safe Routes to School program is inviting all elementary and middle schools in the state to participate in the 2014 International Walk to School on Wednesday, October 8. Tennessee students will join approximately three million participants from more than 40 countries on this occasion.

In order to extend the Walk to School movement and allow more schools to get involved, Tennessee SRTS has designated the entire month of October as Walk to School Month. Our goal is to register at least 100 schools throughout the month; last year, approximately 75 Tennessee schools participated. Event registration is available at Each elementary or middle school that registers for International Walk to School Day 2014 will receive a Walk and Bike to School banner.

Both the workshops and incentive banner are sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School Program. To learn more about Tennessee's SRTS, visit the TDOT website at Assistance and guidance is available from Diana Benedict, Tennessee Safe Routes to School Coordinator, at 615-253-2421 or