Differences in proposed Safe Routes to School implementation by type of funding application
In 2007, school or municipal officials in Texas applied for funding to implement either infrastructure (e.g., building) or planning improvements as part of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. The goal of this study was to conduct a content analysis of SRTS applications.
The purpose of this study was to determine the barriers to active commuting to school (ACS), proposed strategies for SRTS program implementation, and prioritization of health in SRTS grant applications by type of application (infrastructure versus planning).
This study was conducted as part of a larger evaluation study, the Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) project. The goal of T-COPPE was to evaluate differences in SRTS implementation by funding type; sites receiving SRTS funding were randomly selected to participate in the study. Applications for infrastructure (n=25) and planning (n=19) schools were collected, and key words were abstracted and coded for themes: goals in applying for funding; involvement of community stakeholders; barriers to ACS; solutions proposed; strategies to address barriers and achieve stated goals. Frequencies were calculated.
For infrastructure schools, the most common ACS barrier was missing or insufficient walkways (84.0% of applications). Planning schools listed walkways not accessible to students with disabilities as the most common barrier (73.7%). Most common strategies to address barriers among infrastructure schools included plans to repair sidewalks (96%) and increase traffic law enforcement (96%). Planning schools most often listed strategies such as plans to provide signage (94.7%), teach benefits of walking/bicycling (94.74%), and increase traffic law enforcement (94.7%). More planning (84.2%) than infrastructure schools (52%) cited health as their first priority in applying for the program.
Health benefits and related behavioral factors for implementation of SRTS programs need to be emphasized in grant applications for infrastructure or physical environment changes.
Learning Areas:Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
List five common barriers to active commuting to school as stated in Texas Safe Routes to School (SRTS) applications for state funding. Describe solutions and strategies schools plan to use to address barriers to active commuting. Discuss prioritization of health by Texas schools as stated in SRTS applications.
Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Transportation
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate for the Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences degree. I worked alongside the principal investigators on this grant, as well as other grants focused on my research interests in childhood obesity prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.