"Louisiana's SRTS Program Enters Second Year Policy changes to be a top priority for the State Network
"The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) recently closed its second application period for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Application received in this cycle contained much greater substance. Most applications are comprehensive in nature addressing both infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities. The SRTS program attributes this increase in quality to effective training and communication with local communities and partnerships throughout the state. Outreach efforts throughout the state, including the 1st Louisiana SRTS conference in October 2007, have definitely provided a great opportunity to educate existing and potential grantees. LaDOTD is planning a second SRTS conference that will be held in Fall 2008. The focus of this conference will be to highlight program features and requirements, to share information on existing SRTS programs in the State, and to engage participants in a focused discussion on policies.
"The Louisiana DOT SRTS program has expressed an interest in coordinating policy discussions with the Louisiana Network of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. For the past eight months, the Louisiana Network has engaged stakeholders from the public health, transportation, education, safety, and planning sectors on policy issues relevant to the health and safety of school-aged children. The timing of these two efforts coincides with LaDOTD's revisions to the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which will specifically address policy needs relevant to bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages. For more information about the Louisiana program, please visit the Louisiana SRTS website or contact Shalanda Cole, the Department's SRTS Coordinator."