Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement to enable and encourage students to safely walk and bicycle to and from school. SRTS programs are the result of parents, schools, communities and government joining forces to improve the health and safety of our children, our future leaders.

SRTS programs focus on the "5E's":

  1. Education efforts to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills
  2. Encouragement activities to build interest and enthusiasm
  3. Enforcement measures to address safety issues
  4. Engineering solutions to maintain traffic control devices and physical infrastructure
  5. Evaluation methods to monitor impact and identify areas for improvement and growth


Northeast Iowa has the state's ONLY rural, regional SRTS program, which serves over 10,000 K-8th students in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. The Northeast Iowa SRTS Program, managed by UERPC’s Regional SRTS Coordinator, partners with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative to increase physical activity among students and advocate for safe community routes in many ways:

  • Walking School Bus. A Walking School Bus is a group of students walking to/from school with responsible supervisors. It can take place daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Remote Drop-off. This is a variation of a Walking School Bus. Students who live far from the school can be dropped off at a location away from school grounds to walk the remaining trip to school.
  • Bike Rodeo.  A Bike Rodeo is a popular and fun event teaching children how to properly and safely ride a bike.
  • Mileage Club. Students earn rewards by walking a certain number of laps around a track, gym or school hallway. It could take place at gym class, recess or an after-school club.
  • Active Classroom Learning. Sneak physical activity into classroom learning. One example is Stories in Motion, where students act out stories as they are read aloud.
  • SRTS Community Coalitions. School and community advocates join forces to build SRTS efforts and increase safety measures locally.


Children feel better when they are active.  They are hardwired to move.  Their bodies need it, and their brains need it.

In today's world, however, our kids are not moving enough.  As a society, we have created a culture of convenience at the expense of our health, and no one suffers more than our kids.  This culture of convenience is the reason why today's generation of children is projected to live shorter life spans than their parents.  This is unacceptable.

By creating more opportunities for children to be physically active on a daily basis, we CAN make things better.  One of the best ways to do this is through supporting SRTS.  While SRTS programs are geared toward students and schools, it's really the community as a whole that benefits.  When routes to school and other community locations are safe and accessible for children, they are safe and accessible FOR EVERYONE because we are all pedestrians at some point during the day.

SRTS is the answer to creating a better world for our children, our school, our communities and ourselves.  Join the SRTS effort today by contacting Ashley Christensen, Regional Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Northeast Iowa at 563-382-6171 or achristensen@uerpc.org.

"I am way too busy - but I enjoy this, and love the kids!  If it were any other time of day I could not make it work.  I am not an "earlybird" by any means, but I have really enjoyed this."
~Volunteer for morning Walking School Bus in West Union

"This was so well publicized and ran. My entire family enjoyed ourselves during the event and the kids were so excited to get practice on their big-boy bikes! I hope you continue doing it."
~Parent who attended the North Fayette Valley Bike Rodeo


News Headlines

UERPC July Newsletter

Posted: Mon, July 18, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about:

  • UERPC and ECIA Partnership
  • Employee Spotlight-Amy Chicos
  • EDA Awards Planning Dollars
  • NE IA highlighted in Walking Book
... [ Read More ]

UERPC June Newsletter

Posted: Mon, June 20, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about:

  • Summer Intern on Board-Jesse Vorwald
  • Northeast Iowa Clerk's Association Meets
  • Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program
  • Summertime Health Tips
  • NEIRHTF is Accepting Applications
  • Five Projects Awarded to Northeast Iowa Commuties
... [ Read More ]

Call for Public Review and Input-Clayton Hazard Mitigation Plan

Posted: Mon, June 6, 2016

CLAYTON COUNTY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN ANNOUNCEMENT – CALL FOR PUBLIC REVIEW & INPUT

Clayton County, Iowa Multi-Jurisdictional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) will be available on the East Central Intergovernmental (ECIA) website (http://www.ecia.org/publications/index.cfm under News Articles/Misc.) from June 13 – July 15, 2016 for public review and input. The plan covers the jurisdictions of: Cities of Clayton, Elkader, Elkport, Farmersburg, Garber, Garnavillo, Guttenberg, Luana, Marquette, McGregor, Monona, Osterdock, North Buena Vista, St. Olaf, Strawberry Point and Volga. It also includes the Unincorporated County and the Community School Districts of Central, Clayton and MFL MarMac.

Each of the cities, the county and the school districts worked diligently to identify the strategies that addressed their individual concerns and the county as a whole.  For a hard copy of the plan, or for additional information, contact Jennifer Walker, Project Coordinator at ECIA at 563-556-4166 or jwalker@ecia.org. Or contact, Sarah Moser, Emergency Management Agency Coordinator for Clayton County at 563-245-3004, ext. 1 or ema@claytoncountyia.gov.

... [ Read More ]

UERPC May Newsletter

Posted: Tue, May 17, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about:

  • Transportation Update
  • Employee Spotlight-Michelle Barness
  • Iowa Association of Regional Councils Announces Carl Lingen as Executive Director
  • 2016 Business and Community Wellness Summit
  • Nuisance Property and Abandoned Building Program
... [ Read More ]
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