New York State Department of Transportation announced last Friday that 64 projects across the state are receiving federal funding to improve the safety of children on their walks and bike rides to school.
NYSDOT is distributing $26.5 million to those recipients of Safe Routes to School funding. That money was made available by the federal government, which administers the program, and given to states to be used for specific infrastructure improvements that stand within a two-mike radius of elementary and middle schools. Funding may also be used in public education and outreach, such as a program that teaches parents and kids about the benefits of walking and biking to school.
"The projects supported by this round of federal funding will help children get to school safely by providing features such as sidewalks, multi-use paths, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals near schools," said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald in a statement. "The education component of the program can help families make healthy, sustainable transportation choices and teach kids how to safely use the infrastructure in their communities."
Projects receiving the funding through NYSDOT range from sidewalk repairs, crosswalk markings, and multi-use pathway construction to bike rack installation, intersection improvements, and driver speed feedback trailers.
The Safe Routes to School program was created to encourage kids become more active by biking and walking to school through planning, developing, and implementing transportation projects that improve safety while cutting down on traffic, fuel usage, and air pollution near schools. In the past, Safe Routes to School was included in transportation bills as a stand-alone program. Following the passage of MAP-21 last summer, the program continues under the Transportation Alternatives Program. More information on the change is available at bit.ly/SRTSMAP21.
Additional information on NYSDOT's Safe Routes to School Program is available at bit.ly/NYSDOTSRTS.