Nov 09,2007 00:00
The Oregon Department of Transportation has awarded $241,478 to Oregon schools and school districts to fund education and enforcement projects for Safe Routes to School, a program designed to encourage and enable easier and healthier ways for children to walk and bike to and from school safely.
The federally funded Oregon Safe Routes to School program, administered by ODOT, is part of a solution to promote physical activity and improve unsafe walking and bicycling conditions. Safe Routes to School strategies are based on education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.
“The Safe Routes to School program is an innovative program integrating health, fitness, traffic congestion, environmental concerns and safety all under one umbrella,” said Julie Yip, Safe Routes to School program manager. “Funds may be used for projects that directly support increased safety and conveniences for kindergarten through middle school children to walk and bike to school.”
Education, outreach and enforcement activities were awarded first to coincide with the school year cycle. At the end of the year, projects to enhance infrastructure will be awarded.
Funded activities for this round include bicycle and pedestrian safety curriculum, local program coordination, targeted speed and crosswalk enforcement around schools, crossing guard equipment, bike helmets, maps and publications, and other public outreach activities.
The Oregon Safe Routes to School program has $3.5 million available to award through 2009. The majority of the funds will go towards infrastructure enhancement projects such as sidewalk, bike path and cross walk improvements. Communities interested in applying for funding must submit a completed action plan. More information about application requirements is available on the program Web page, www.oregon.gov/saferoutes.
Safe Routes to School grant award recipients