Making Strides State Report Cards FAQs

Safe Routes Partnership releases our Making Strides state report cards every two years, providing an at-a-glance snapshot of how states are doing in their support of walking, rolling, and active kids and communities. Following the release of the latest report cards in June 2022, we received numerous great questions from state agency representatives, walking and rolling advocates, and community health champions. We’ve collected a few of the most commonly asked questions here.

How does a state earn a high score?

The Making Strides state report cards evaluate states on 27 indicators that represent key state-level policies and decision-making that support walking, rolling, and active communities. These indicators are grouped into subtopics and then four core topic areas: Complete Streets and Active Transportation Policy and Planning, Federal and State Active Transportation Funding, Safe Routes to School Funding and Supportive, Practices, and Active Neighborhoods and Schools. The report includes an explanation of the importance of each indicator in sections labeled HOW DOES IT HELP?

What is the highest score a state can receive?

A state can earn up to 200 total points. Each of the 27 indicators is worth up to 20 points. A quick guide to understanding the scores and grading can be found here.

Where does the data come from?

For some of the indicators, we reference data collected by other groups through projects such as the National Cancer Institute’s Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS) and the League of American Bicyclists’ Benchmarking Project. For other indicators, we look at publicly-available information on various state websites and follow up with outreach to and additional confirmation by state staff. The report includes an explanation of the data sources for each indicator in sections labeled WHERE DID THE DATA COME FROM?

Do the 2022 state report cards reflect changes stemming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?

For the most part, the 2022 state report cards were based on information and data collected before states began implementing provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The next state report cards, scheduled to be released in 2024, will include a number of changes to reflect new federal requirements and opportunities. These changes are previewed on page 82 of the report. Speaking of new opportunities, we have prepared two resources to help you understand how your state can improve its score through provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Action Steps for Champions to Boost Your State’s Score – New Opportunities from the Infrastructure Law and Boost Your State’s Score – Action Steps for State Departments of Transportation Using New Opportunities in Federal Law.

How can I learn more about what states are doing to support Safe Routes to School?

Dedicated Staff Power up State-Level Safe Routes to School Programs is a new resource based on that state report card research that delves into how states currently staff their Safe Routes to School programs and what supportive activities they manage to achieve with that support. This infographic summarizes key information from our research.

What can I do to help improve my state’s score?

Every state has room for improvement and needs organizations and people to champion change. How to Use Your State’s Report Card on Walking, Biking, and Physical Activity describes general steps to take and provides some ideas for activities and strategies to promote change.

What will future indicators include?

Stay tuned for a preview of the 2024 indicators later this year!