She’s off to school, with helmet on head and doll in tow. (Photo by carfreedays.)

A small federal program is punching holes through the unsafe barricade of freeways, busy roads, and rushed drivers that surround the nation’s schools. Yet despite the program’s success, Congress is now threatening to terminate it — not to save money, but to redirect its funds toward more car-centric infrastructure.

In 2005, Congress initiated a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) national partnership. The SRTS program coordinates infrastructure improvements across the country to make walking and biking to school safer and more practical for students and educators. By most measures, the program has been a resounding success.