Cleveland CMSD Safe Routes to School Travel Plan
The Ohio Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The program supports projects and programs that enable and encourage safe walking and bicycling to and from school.
A School Travel Plan (STP) is a requirement for funding requests through the ODOT SRTS program. An STP is the written document that outlines a community’s intentions for enabling students to engage in active transportation (i.e. walking or bicycling) as they travel to and from school. Serving as the foundation for an SRTS program, the STP can be updated and modified as needed to comply with community values and goals. The plan is created through a team-based approach that involves key community stakeholders in identifying barriers to active transportation and, using all 5 Es, a set of solutions to address them.
The 5 Es are Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation. Engineering refers to infrastructure projects that improve the pedestrian and bicycle environment within two miles of a school. The other Es refer to non-infrastructure programs that are intended to affect student or driver behavior to result in more walking and biking to school.
In 2014, the Cleveland City Planning Commission (CPC) was awarded Safe Routes planning grants from ODOT and NOACA to initiate a district-wide STP for the K-8 public schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). Bike Cleveland partnered with CPC to facilitate a local match for the planning
process from the Saint Luke’s Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation. CPC, in partnership with CMSD, convened local stakeholders to outline the approach to Cleveland’s Safe Routes initiative. As part of the process, CPC brought on a Cleveland Safe Routes to School coordinator, housed within CMSD. Collectively, the team began developing a unique approach to Cleveland’s plan that emphasized the priorities of health, equity, and sustainability consistent with the mission of the Cleveland Planning Commission. The City Planning Commission is mandated by the Cleveland City Charter to provide direction for the growth and development of the City.
The Cleveland STP follows ODOT’s draft guidelines for large school districts. Large school districts are defined by ODOT as those with more than 15 kindergarten through 8th grade (K-8) schools. In prior years, ODOT’s funding process restricted applications for STP development to four schools at a time.
ODOT observed that large school districts did not apply for SRTS grant funding at a rate proportionate to their representation in the state. The Cleveland STP is the fifth district-wide STP for large school districts in Ohio, and one of the first nationwide.
Download the full plan in Adobe Acrobat format.