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Safe Routes to School

SRTS sign

Tacoma’s Safe Routes to School Program

The City of Tacoma Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program works to make it safer, more convenient, and fun for K-12 students and families to walk, bike, and actively roll to school through:

  1. targeted infrastructure improvements,
  2. walking and biking safety education, and
  3. encouragement programs.

The program started in 2017 with the launch of the 2017 Safe Routes to School Action PlanThe Tacoma Safe Routes to School Action Plan (2023 update) now guides this work. Partnerships between the City of Tacoma, schools, neighbors, community organizations, and other agencies help the program grow and succeed! 


Tacoma Safe Routes to School Action Plan - 2023 Update


Suggested Walking Route Maps for Elementary Schools


Why the City Invests in SRTS

Safe Routes to School efforts have health and safety benefits for students that extend to the whole community. When students safely walk, bike, and actively roll to school, everyone can benefit:

  • Less traffic congestion and harmful emissions around schools.
  • Improved student attention and academic performance, with fewer absences and tardy arrivals.
  • Healthier students and families getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
  • More engaged, connected, and active communities.

What has the SRTS Program accomplished in the first 5 years? What will the next 5 years entail? Watch the presentation to City Council's Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee. 


What We Do 

The City uses the Safe Routes to School Action Plan, updated in 2023 with numerous community groups, to prioritize SRTS program efforts. This plan follows the 6 E’s:


Reduce disparities by prioritizing schools with the highest need, celebrating the diversity of the community, and aiming to offer programs that are accessible to all.


Teach students walking and biking safety skills, inform families about active transportation options, and promote safe driving near schools. Learn more about local SRTS Education efforts, curriculum materials, and more. 


Use special events to spark enthusiasm for walking, biking, and rolling to school. See Walk & Roll to School Days for information on special events


Improve safety of the physical environment around schools and along school routes using construction, signage, and signals. Check out the SRTS Engineering page for updates.


Build thoughtful relationships with community groups and organizations to collaborate, identify challenges, and address needs. (Note, this E is new as of 2020 and not currently reflected as an E in the 2017 Action Plan.)


Monitor ongoing program efforts and outcomes to inform future activities.


Learn More

Check out the following resources to explore the Tacoma SRTS Program and improve school transportation safety:

  • SRTS Action Plan: outlines the vision, goals, and actions for the Tacoma SRTS program. 
  • SRTS Program Toolkit: provides ideas for successful SRTS activities for implementation in Tacoma. 
  • Walking School Bus guide: offers step-by-step guidance on how to start a Walking School Bus or Bike Train at your school. 
  • School Zone Safety Kit: a Safety Patrol curriculum kit from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC).
  • School Zone Crossing Guard Grant: a $300-$500 grant for elementary and middle schools to support safety patrol and crossing guard programs and materials, such as cones, vests, and flags. Provided by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC).

Connect & Get Involved

Connect with the City of Tacoma’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Cailin Henley, by email with questions, concerns, or comments.