Grant Program Encourages Safe Routes to School

The Illinois Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the Safe Routes to School program. The program helps to support projects that make walking, biking and rolling to school a safe option for students as part of a commitment by IDOT and Gov. JB Pritzker to expand active transportation throughout the state.

Administered by IDOT using federal funds, Safe Routes to School advances projects that improve safety and reduce traffic in areas around schools, grades kindergarten through high school. The new grant cycle will distribute a total of $6 million, with a maximum award of $250,000. Projects may include new sidewalks, traffic-calming measures and improvements that increase accessibility for those with disabilities.

Successful applications will demonstrate how the projects encourage students to walk, bike or roll. Eligible applicants include school districts, local governments, planning organizations and nonprofit associations. Preference will be given to schools with higher percentages of low-income students and students with disabilities. The deadline to apply is October 2, with awards to be announced in the spring.

State Representative Tony McCombie is encouraging those applicable in her district to apply! Under the last Safe Routes to School funding cycle, IDOT awarded more than $12 million to support 50 projects statewide—one of which was designated for Savanna.

For more information on the program, including the application, visit the Safe Routes to School homepage at or email