Safe Routes to School

Virginia Safe Routes to School logo

“Promoting active, healthy lifestyles and safe infrastructure that supports bicycling and walking

Welcome to the Arlington Public Schools Safe Routes to School website! Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program that works to make it safer and easier for students to walk or bike to school. SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
This website contains educational information on how you can help to encourage students to walk and bike safely to school. You can learn about the Safe Routes to School program, find resources to help implement walking and biking programs, learn about successful programs in Arlington, research funding opportunities, and quickly access partner organizations.

Benefits of walking or biking to school:

  • Walking one mile to and from school each day is two-thirds of the recommended sixty minutes of physical activity a day. Children who walk to school have higher levels of physical activity throughout the day.
  • Studies show that children who walk and bicycle to school are more physically active,  have lower body mass index scores,  and lower obesity levels   than students who are driven or bused to school.
  • It’s better for the environment!

The Safe Routes to School office can provide you with information on:

  • Student travel tallies
  • Pedestrian & bicycle safety education in schools
  • Walk & Bike to School Day events and celebrations
  • Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
  • Evaluation of student arrival & dismissal procedures and walking/biking conditions at your school
  • Working with APS and/or Arlington County on infrastructure concerns and requests for pedestrian access improvements on or near school grounds

*For Traffic enforcement in school zones, please communicate with your School Resource Officer or call the Arlington Police Department non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

Ashlawn’s Ana Hernandez Recognized as One of Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2016

Crossing GuardAshlawn Elementary School crossing guard Ana Hernandez was recognized by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program as Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards this week. Hernandez, who was nominated by Ashlawn parents, is one of six crossing guards to receive the honor.

Hernandez is the ever smiling crossing guard at Ashlawn who is present rain, snow, or shine. She is described by those who nominated her as cheerful and caring, always taking the time to explain to kids the importance of pedestrian safety. Hernandez is known to have a firm control over the flow of buses, cars, construction vehicles, bikers, and pedestrians who travel through her intersection, working patiently but firmly to ensure the safety of students. If you are being unsafe, you are sure to hear her whistle!

One parent who nominated Hernandez claimed that, “everyone is secretly glad when one has to wait by her side for traffic to pass because Ana brings instant sun into your life, no matter the actual weather.” The same parent went on to say that, “after 20 years of walking this route (between my own children attending and now as Ashlawn staff), I can say no other crossing guard comes close to the cheerful, skilled, and gracious Ana Hernandez!”

“Each school day, our crossing guards are out in the community creating a safe environment for children to walk and bike to school. Ana consistently goes above and beyond by teaching children the importance of pedestrian safety. Her dedication to the well being of students embodies the spirit of the crossing guard program and we are pleased she is receiving recognition for her tireless efforts” said Chief of Police Jay Farr.

Hernandez has been with the crossing guard unit since August 2014. She has been at Ashlawn at N. 8th St. and Manchester St. since she started. She also has a second crossing at Barrett Elementary School.

“Ana is amazing at what she does and how she interacts with our students and our community,” said Ashlawn Principal Judy Apostolico-Buck. “She is energetic and is always happy. I want to congratulate her on this honor.”

Hernandez will be recognized by the Arlington County Police Department and the Ashlawn community on Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, Wednesday, February 8, 2017.Crossing Guard Appreciation Day is a statewide event sponsored by the Virginia Safe Routes to School program and is devoted to saying thank you to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school.

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day/Week 2017 Crossing Guard with hot chocolate

Virginia schools honor crossing guards each February during Crossing Guard Appreciation Day (CGAD), a statewide event devoted to saying thank you to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school. The official day in 2017 is February 8, but Arlington will be celebrating throughout the week of February 6-10. Materials and suggestions for honoring school crossing guards are on the Virginia SRTS program website at this link.

Funding Opportunity:

Quick Start Mini Grants

 $1000 Quick Start Mini Grants

Did you know that your school is eligible for $1000 to fund activities that encourage walking and biking to school? This could include bicycle equipment or incentives for a walking program.  The next round of applications is now open!  PTAs and other adult-led student groups are encouraged to apply.  Upcoming deadlines are March 2 and April 6, 2017.
Apply early for a better chance of receiving a grant.  Find out more information at the Virginia Department of Transportation website: