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SAFETEA-LU

(Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, (Public Law 109-59))

SEC. 1404. SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAM.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.--Subject to the requirements of this section, the Secretary shall establish and carry out a safe routes to school program for the benefit of children in primary and middle schools.

(b) PURPOSES.--The purposes of the program shall be- (1) to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school;
(2) to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
(3) to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

(c) APPORTIONMENT OF FUNDS.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), amounts made available to carry out this section for a fiscal year shall be apportioned among the States in the ratio that- (A) the total student enrollment in primary and middle schools in each State; bears to (B) the total student enrollment in primary and middle schools in all States. (2) MINIMUM APPORTIONMENT.--No State shall receive an apportionment under this section for a fiscal year of less than $1,000,000. (3) SET-ASIDE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.--Before apportioning under this subsection amounts made available to carry out this section for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall set aside not more than $3,000,000 of such amounts for the administrative expenses of the Secretary in carrying out this subsection. (4) DETERMINATION OF STUDENT ENROLLMENTS.--Determinations under this subsection concerning student enrollments shall be made by the Secretary.

(d) ADMINISTRATION OF AMOUNTS.--Amounts apportioned to a State under this section shall be administered by the State's department of transportation.

(e) ELIGIBLE RECIPIENTS.--Amounts apportioned to a State under this section shall be used by the State to provide financial assistance to State, local, and regional agencies, including nonprofit organizations, that demonstrate an ability to meet the requirements of this section.

(f) ELIGIBLE PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES.--
(1) INFRASTRUCTURE-RELATED PROJECTS.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--Amounts apportioned to a State under this section may be used for the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, including sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and speed reduction improvements, pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, on-street bicycle facilities, off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities, secure bicycle parking facilities, and traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools. (B) LOCATION OF PROJECTS.--Infrastructure-related projects under subparagraph (A) may be carried out on any public road or any bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail in the vicinity of schools.
(2) NONINFRASTRUCTURE-RELATED ACTIVITIES.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--In addition to projects described in paragraph (1), amounts apportioned to a State under this section may be used for noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school, including public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools, student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs. (B) ALLOCATION.--Not less than 10 percent and not more than 30 percent of the amount apportioned to a State under this section for a fiscal year shall be used for noninfrastructure-related activities under this subparagraph.
(3) SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL COORDINATOR.--Each State receiving an apportionment under this section for a fiscal year shall use a sufficient amount of the apportionment to fund a full-time position of coordinator of the State's safe routes to school program.

(g) CLEARINGHOUSE.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Secretary shall make grants to a national nonprofit organization engaged in promoting safe routes to schools to- (A) operate a national safe routes to school clearinghouse; (B) develop information and educational programs on safe routes to school; and (C) provide technical assistance and disseminate techniques and strategies used for successful safe routes to school programs. (2) FUNDING.--The Secretary shall carry out this subsection using amounts set aside for administrative expenses under subsection (c)(3).

(h) TASK FORCE.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Secretary shall establish a national safe routes to school task force composed of leaders in health, transportation, and education, including representatives of appropriate Federal agencies, to study and develop a strategy for advancing safe routes to school programs nationwide. (2) REPORT.--Not later than March 31, 2006, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report containing the results of the study conducted, and a description of the strategy developed, under paragraph (1) and information regarding the use of funds for infrastructure-related and noninfrastructure-related activities under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (f). (3) FUNDING.--The Secretary shall carry out this subsection using amounts set aside for administrative expenses under subsection (c)(3).

(i) APPLICABILITY OF TITLE 23.--Funds made available to carry out this section shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if such funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code; except that such funds shall not be transferable and shall remain available until expended, and the Federal share of the cost of a project or activity under this section shall be 100 percent.

(j) TREATMENT OF PROJECTS.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, projects assisted under this subsection shall be treated as projects on a Federal-aid system under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.

(k) DEFINITIONS.--In this section, the following definitions apply: (1) IN THE VICINITY OF SCHOOLS.--The term "in the vicinity of schools" means, with respect to a school, the area within bicycling and walking distance of the school (approximately 2 miles). (2) PRIMARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS.--The term "primary and middle schools" means schools providing education from kindergarten through eighth grade.

SAFETEA-LU, Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of the Conference, House Report 109-203, pp. 866-867

Sec. 1404. Safe Routes to School Program

House Bill.

Sec. 1122(a)

This section establishes two new programs – a Safe Routes to School Program and a Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program.

Subsection (a) establishes a Safe Routes to School Program for the benefit of children in primary and middle schools. The purposes of the program are to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school, to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

Funding is made available by formula to state departments of transportation on the basis of student enrollment in primary and middle schools. No state shall receive less than $2 million annually. Funds will be used by the state to provide financial assistance to state, local and regional agencies, including nonprofit organizations, which demonstrate an ability to meet the requirements of this section.

The program funds two distinct types of projects: infrastructure projects and non-infrastructure related activities. States should be encouraged to create competitive applications forms, criteria, and evaluations that are appropriate for the two different types of projects.

The creation of a state level safe routes to school coordinator position provides a central point of contact for the program. Funding for the state level safe routes to school coordinator position is not included in the 10 to 30 percent of funds required to be used for non-infrastructure related activities under this subsection. The state coordinator’s position is to be funded from the balance of the state’s safe routes to school funds.

The safe routes to school clearinghouse provides an important opportunity to insure successful implementation of the program. As a new program, states will be interested in guidance on implementing the program effectively and efficiently. The clearinghouse can provide case studies, gather and disseminate information, track implementation, and monitor the program.

Given the broad scope of the safe routes to school activities, the Committee acknowledges the need to include a broad range of agencies and organizations in the Task Force authorized by this section. In addition to representatives from federal agencies, additional task force members could include representatives from state and local agencies as well as relevant non-profit organizations and associations including organizations or associations that represent automobile drivers.

Senate Bill

Sec. 1405.

This section creates a new Safe Routes to Schools Program, section 150 of title 23. The Secretary shall establish and carry out a safe routes to schools program for the benefit of children who walk and bicycle to school.

The Safe Routes to Schools program works towards this goal by making bicycling and walking safer and more appealing transportation alternatives. For this program, the Secretary shall set aside $65,704,024 from section 148 to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety within two miles of primary and secondary schools. The Secretary shall distribute these funds using the formula established in section 148.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the House provision with a modification to reduce the minimum state apportionment to $1 million.

Updated: 06/12/2013
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