DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Division of Planning

17 Delaware Code, Section 1021 (17 Del.C. §1021 et seq.)

FINAL

ORDER

Delaware Safe Routes to School Regulations

Summary of Evidence and Information Submitted

The Department published the draft Delaware Safe Routes to School Regulations in the March 1, 2006 edition of the Delaware Register of Regulations. Publication in the Delaware Register of Regulations also signified the start of the 31-day public comment period that began on the same date and ended March 31, 2006.

As a result of the aforementioned public outreach, the following is a summary of the comments received related to the draft Regulations:

Comments

The Department received an email from the Transportation Supervisor for Capital School District that suggested that the Department should establish a proposed timeline for completing infrastructure projects.

The Department received a letter from the American Heart Association’s Pennsylvania Delaware Affiliate that generally supported the Department’s SRTS efforts. The American Heart Association requested that language be added that calls for partnering with a health agency or a recognized health organization. The American Heart Association also requested that a public relations campaign or public relations effort to encourage walking and biking to school, in addition to advertising the SRTS program, to the public at either a district, county, or state level.

The Department received a letter from the Delaware State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD). The Council raised several points. SCPD suggested that additional language be added to the Regulations that promotes participation by students with disabilities. SPCD requested that bullets be added to Section 6.1 stating that accessible route improvements (e.g., ramps, curb cuts, automatic doors) and audible warning and digital countdown traffic signals be eligible infrastructure costs. SPCD suggested that the Regulations specifically highlight helmet safety and use. The letter also noted that the Regulations are unclear about the specific meaning of biking and walking, and whether students may use other means of non-motorized transportation to travel to school. The Council suggested that eligible costs should include funding crossing guards, holding public service campaigns targeted at motorists, and the purchase of safety provisions to minimize endangerment to children on routes that may be isolated. SPCD recommended that school buses be made to transport bicycles and that the SRTS program should include bicycling to a bus stop.

The Department received a letter from the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC). The Council raised several points. GACEC suggested that additional language be added to the Regulations that promotes participation by students with disabilities. GACEC requested that bullets be added stating that accessible route improvements (e.g., ramps, curb cuts, automatic doors) and audible warning and digital countdown traffic signals are eligible infrastructure costs. GACEC suggested that the Regulations specifically highlight helmet safety and use. The letter also noted that the Regulations are unclear about the specific meaning of biking and walking, and whether students may use other means of non-motorized transportation to travel to school. The Council suggested that eligible costs should include funding crossing guards, holding public service campaigns targeted at motorists, and the purchase of safety provisions to minimize endangerment to children on routes that may be isolated. GACEC recommended that school buses be made to transport bicycles and that the SRTS program should include bicycling to a bus stop.

The Department received an email from the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO). WILMAPCO suggested that the Department set aside a portion of the funds for high need areas. WILMAPCO suggested that the Department require a commitment from the school principal or parent-teacher organization to accompany an application. WILMAPCO requested that the requirements for the SRTS Plan include identifying safety hazards, potential walking and bicycling improvements, and an educational component. WILMAPCO suggested that walking path improvements, parent education materials, and school safety materials (e.g., reflective vests, cones, new signs, road paint) be included as eligible costs.

The Department received an email from the Transportation Supervisor at the Department of Education in general support of the draft Regulations and suggested a minor word change.

The Department received an email from a member of the public suggesting that crosswalks and sidewalks be required with all new development, and that pedestrian walkways should not be level with the road surface. The email also expressed specific concerns about the lack of sidewalks on Limestone Road and in adjacent neighborhoods, and specifically the absence of a crosswalk or pedestrian signal at the intersection of Limestone Road and Milltown Road.

In addition to the above, Department staff made the following comments on the draft Regulations as part of their final review:

• “In the vicinity” in Section 3.2.2 should be defined as within one-mile of the participating school.

• “In the vicinity” in Section 3.2.3 should be defined as within two-miles of the participating school.

• Department use of funds should be explicitly defined in the Regulations.

• FHWA restricts the use of infrastructure funds to those schools with students who reside near enough to the school to walk or bicycle. Further definition of eligible recipients is needed in Section 6.1.

• It may be beneficial to add ineligible uses of funds.

• Project selection and prioritization in Section 7.0 should match the Delaware SRTS legislation.

Findings of Fact

Based on the comments received and summarized above, the following changes were made to the draft Regulations:

• Report Change:

• Requirement that a letter of support by the school principal or a district-level administrator accompany a funding request was added to Section 2.1.

• Report Change:

• Clarification on the intended objective of the program was added to Section 2.1.

• Report Change:

• Language was added in Section 2.1 to clarify that where students are encouraged to walk or bicycle; students with disabilities are encouraged to travel to school in their wheelchair or other assistive technology device when applicable.

• Report Change:

• The elements that are required in a SRTS Plan were further defined in Section 3.1. The language was also changed to reflect the elements that are required, and the elements that are optional.

• Report Change:

• Section 3.1 now encourages schools to partner with a local health agency or organization.

• Report Change:

• The sentence that defines the “5 E’s” in Section 3.2 was reworded for clarity.

• Report Change:

• Educating students and their parents on Delaware’s pedestrian and bicycle laws was added to the general description of Education in Section 3.2.2.

• Report Change:

• The area in which driver safety campaigns should be held was defined in Section 3.2.2 as within one-mile of the school.

• Report Change:

• The area in which enforcement activities should be held was defined in Section 3.2.3 as within two-miles of the school.

• Report Change:

• Inclusion of Department use of funds for administration of the program was added as a new section under Section 4.0.

• Report Change:

• The program encourages children to walk and bicycle to and from school. The words “and from” were added to Section 6.1 to obviate any contrary reference.

• Report Change:

• Eligible recipients of infrastructure funds was further defined in Section 6.1, to reflect that where it is not possible for students to walk or bicycle to school, funds are not available to those schools.

• Report Change:

• The requirement that only those infrastructure projects that are approved by DelDOT in accordance with Department and state policies was added in Section 6.1.

• Report Change:

• A timeline of 18-months to complete infrastructure projects was added in Section 6.1.

• Report Change:

• Walking path improvements, installation of pedestrian signals and accessible pedestrian signals, and accessible route improvements were added as eligible infrastructure projects in Section 6.1.

• Report Change:

• The sentence in Section 6.2 that establishes the limit to the amount of money that may be spent on a single prize was reworded for clarity.

• Report Change:

• Parent education materials and materials to assist in enforcement of safety behaviors were added as eligible non-infrastructure expenses in Section 6.2.

• Report Change:

• Section 7.0 on ineligible costs was added for clarification purposes.

• Report Change:

• Changes were made in Section 8.1 to select proposals for funding based on a statewide competition to comply with the Delaware legislation (17 Del.C. §1022). In addition, changes were made in Section 8.2 as a result of this change, and defines the project selection process.

These changes were made to the draft Regulations, and they are noted in the full citation that is part of the submission to the Delaware Register of Regulations. Additions are underlined and deletions are struck through.

Text and Citation

See attached regulations.

Decision

Pursuant to the authority in 17 Delaware Code, Section 1021 and 1022, and Public Law 109-59, and after due notice as required under the Administrative Procedures Act, the Department of Transportation is hereby adopting the Delaware Safe Routes to School Regulations effective June 10, 2006.

Comment or questions regarding how the Safe Routes to School program will be administered should be directed to:

Erin Fasano, Project Planner

Safe Routes to School Program, Division of Planning

Delaware Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 778

Dover, DE 19903

(302) 760-2121 (telephone), (302) 739-2251 (fax)

erin.fasano@state.de.us

APPROVED: Carolann D. Wicks, Secretary, Department of Transportation, 4/15/06

Delaware Safe Routes to School

1.0 Introduction

Delaware’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program was established September 10, 2002 when Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed Senate Bill 353 of the 141st General Assembly of Delaware (73 Del. Laws, c. 435). As directed, the Department of Transportation (DelDOT) began developing a program that would enable DelDOT to work with schools to encourage children to walk and bicycle to school safely. Three years later similar federal legislation was passed (Pub. L. No. 109-59). Delaware’s legislation authorizes DelDOT to make SRTS grants available for bicycle and pedestrian safety and traffic calming measures in the vicinity of schools (17 Del.C. §1022). The federal SRTS program was established August 10, 2005 under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This law describes the purpose of the program as follows: (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 (Pub. L. No. 109-59, §1404 (b)). The federal program employs a multi-faceted approach that addresses infrastructure needs as well as implements non-infrastructure activities to achieve the program goals.

These Program [Requirements Regulations] establish the Delaware Department of Transportation SRTS program and outline how DelDOT will administer the program. This document provides information regarding eligible recipients of funding, the availability of funds, and the project selection process.

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

2.0 Eligibility

2.1 Eligible Participants

Any public [school] or public charter school recognized by the Department of Education may participate in the SRTS program[, provided that the request is accompanied by a letter of support by the school principal or a district-level administrator]; however, participation is restricted to projects and activities that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. [The program seeks to encourage students who live within one mile of their school to walk and those who live within two miles to bicycle both to and from school. When applicable, students with ambulatory impairments are encouraged to travel to and from school using an assistive technology device, such as a wheelchair or scooter.]

2.2 Eligible Funding Recipients

Funding is available to the organization or agency that is administering the SRTS program; this may be the participating school or an organization acting on behalf of the participating school. Eligible funding recipients include state, regional, or local agencies, including nonprofit organizations, and schools or school districts. An organization may receive funding to implement part or all aspects of a SRTS program at a school or multiple schools, as long as the organization is able to demonstrate that the funding request is based on a comprehensive SRTS plan that addresses a set of core components.

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

3.0 Program Components

3.1 SRTS Plan

A comprehensive program is established by developing a SRTS plan. [The SRTS plan must identify safety hazards, current and potential walking and bicycling routes to school, and activities that will incorporate each of the 5 E’s (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation) to create a comprehensive program.] A plan [should must] be created with a group representing different aspects of the school community. This group or committee [may must] include [students,] parents, teachers, school [administrators officials, local transportation agencies, and law enforcement agencies., neighboring residents, and local government representatives. Partnering with a local health agency or recognized health organization, local civic associations, neighboring residents, and local governments are also encouraged.] The committee works through a process to identify areas of concern or need, and then prioritizes activities and projects. SRTS program participants are encouraged to utilize the “Delaware Safe Routes to School Program Sourcebook” when developing a SRTS plan. The “Delaware Safe Routes to School Program Sourcebook” provides guidance on how to develop a SRTS plan and references other resources. It is available on the DelDOT website (URL address to be determined).

3.2 The “5 E’s”

[The program is divided into five elements, that include both infrastructure and non-infrastructure components.] The “5 E’s” are [divided into infrastructure projects (the Engineering component), and the non-infrastructure activities, which are the remaining components of Engineering,] Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation. A general description of the components that make up the “5 E’s” is provided below.

3.2.1 Engineering – Creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails[,] and bikeways.

3.2.2 Education – Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills, [educating students and their parents on Delaware’s pedestrian and bicycle laws,] and launching driver safety campaigns [in the vicinity within one- mile] of schools.

3.2.3 Enforcement – Partnering with local law enforcement to ensure traffic laws are obeyed [in the vicinity within two-miles] of schools (this includes enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs.

3.2.4 Encouragement – Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling.

3.2.5 Evaluation – Monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data, including the collection of data before and after the intervention(s).

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

4.0 Project Funding

[4.1] DelDOT is expected to receive $1 million dollars in federal monies each year for five federal fiscal years (FY 2005 – FY 2009) to administer the SRTS Program. While the majority of these funds will be expended towards infrastructure (capital) projects, ten to thirty percent must be dedicated to non-infrastructure projects. No matching funds from the participant are required.

[4.2 DelDOT will set aside some of the SRTS funds for Department use towards staff training on SRTS, training materials, public awareness campaigns and outreach about the Delaware SRTS Program, creation and reproduction of promotional and educational materials, technical assistance, and other uses as deemed necessary for successful administration of the SRTS program.]

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

5.0 Funding Limitations

5.1 There is no limit on the number of projects for which a sponsor can submit proposals. However, no project or activity will be eligible for funding unless it has been identified through a SRTS planning process and identified in a SRTS plan.

5.2 Individual SRTS projects may be funded up to $125,000. If a project has been identified in the SRTS plan that exceeds this limit, the project shall not be administered or funded through the SRTS Program. Instead, DelDOT will seek to combine the project with other ongoing work in the area, or submit the project to compete for funding with other Delaware capital improvement projects.

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

6.0 Eligible Costs

6.1 Infrastructure Costs

Infrastructure projects should directly support increased safety and convenience for elementary and middle school children, in kindergarten through eighth grades, to bicycle and/or walk to [and from] school. [Infrastructure funds are only available to schools that have students who reside within two-miles of the school, measured along existing transportation infrastructure.] Project limits must be within two miles of the participating school. Planning, design, engineering expenses, including consultant services associated with developing the project, and construction costs are eligible infrastructure expenses. [All infrastructure projects must be approved for use in the state of Delaware. Infrastructure projects should be constructed as soon as possible after the project has been awarded. Infrastructure projects that are not completed within 18-months from the date on executed agreement will be cancelled, and the sponsor will be required to return any funds expended on the project. A letter requesting an extension may be submitted prior to the end of the 18-month completion period. Each request will be reviewed and responded to accordingly.] Eligible projects include:

• sidewalk [and walking path] improvements;

• traffic calming and speed reduction improvements;

• [installation of pedestrian signals and accessible pedestrian signals;

• accessible route improvements (including ramps and curb cuts);]

• 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.

6.2 Non-infrastructure Costs

The federal legislation requires that all non-infrastructure activities that are eligible for funding must be “activities to encourage walking and biking to school.” Eligible activities include:

• costs for assistance in developing SRTS plans (funding for assistance shall not exceed $10,000 per school);

• traffic education and enforcement within the school zone of a participating school;

• student sessions and materials on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment;

• modest incentives, promotional activities, and prizes for SRTS contests [(no single prize shall exceed $50 the cost for a single prize shall not exceed $50)];

• [parent education materials;

• materials to assist in enforcement of safety behaviors;]

• costs for data gathering, analysis, and evaluation reporting;

• photocopying, printing, mailing, and survey costs;

• costs to employ a program manager to run a citywide, countywide, or district wide program that includes numerous schools; and,

• other costs as approved by DelDOT.

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

[7.0 Ineligible Costs

SRTS program funds shall not be used for recreation, beautification, bus safety, or similar safe routes programs to bus stops or transit. Funds may not be used to supplement or provide for additional crossing guards; however, funds may be used for crossing guard training. SRTS funds may not be used to build closed paths. Infrastructure improvements on the school campus must connect the transportation system to the school entrance.]

9 DE Reg. 1776 (5/1/06)

[78.0] Project Selection and Prioritization

[78.1] Limits on funding have been set to enable more participants to develop a SRTS program[., without having to prioritize applications. However, if popularity of the Program creates a demand for funding that outweighs Delaware’s limited resources,] DelDOT shall implement [the an] evaluation process for project selection [based on a statewide competition] as set out in the Delaware legislation [17 Del.C. §1022. At such time, tThe] following factors will be used to rate submitted proposals: (1) demonstrated needs of the applicant; (2) potential for reducing child injuries and fatalities; (3) potential of the proposal for encouraging increased walking and bicycling among students; and, (4) completion of a “Safe Routes to School” plan that identifies safety hazards, and current and potential walking and bicycling routes to school, and involves students, parents, teachers, local transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies and school officials in the plan development process.

[78.2 Proposals for SRTS funding will be accepted continually. DelDOT will arrange a meeting with each project sponsor to discuss the eligibility of any proposed project and activities. DelDOT shall provide a written response to all applicants. Prioritization of proposals will be based on a rating system and scale that will be defined in the “Delaware Safe Routes to School Program Sourcebook” The Sourcebook will also establish the closing date for proposals and the issue date of awards. The SRTS coordinator will make the project selection. DelDOT reserves the right to judge the capability of the applicant. If the sum of all proposals received is less than the sum of funds to be awarded, no prioritization will be made.]

[78.3] All inquiries are welcome. The state coordinator is available to provide information, answer questions, participate in meetings, and assist potential SRTS participants in initiating a SRTS program. Please direct any questions or comments to:

Safe Routes to School Program, Division of Planning

Delaware Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 778

Dover, DE 19903

(302) 760-2121 (telephone), (302) 739-2251 (fax)

9 DE Reg. 1776 (05/01/06) (Final)