News

Projects Announced for Safe Routes to School Funding

April 21, 2016 - Traffic Safety - DENVER – Colorado’s Transportation Commission approved funding for 21 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects today.


In addition to new infrastructure, the $2.5 million includes projects that educate and encourage children to walk or bike to school.   

“Interest in the SRTS program continues to increase every year,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Safe Routes to School Program Manager Leslie Feuerborn.  “For the tenth straight year, CDOT received many more requests for funding than it had available.  That’s very encouraging since it indicates a strong interest in getting more students walking and biking to school, teaching children safety, encouraging healthy living and improving the built environment to support active transportation.”

A competitive process identified the top projects.  The school districts, communities and other entities who will be receiving financial support are:
 
·  Infrastructure projects

o   City of Boulder

o   City of Durango

o   City of Englewood

o   Pueblo County Government

o   Summit County Government

o   Town of Basalt

o   Town of Pagosa Springs

·  Education and Encouragement projects

o   Archuleta School District

o   Center Consolidated Schools 26JT

o   City of Arvada

o   City and County of Denver

o   City of Durango

o   City of Fort Collins

o   City of Golden

o   City of Sterling

o   Englewood Schools

o   Holyoke School District Re-1J

o   Lake County Build a Generation

o   Mesa County and Grand Valley MPO

o   School District 27J (Brighton)

o   Thompson R-2J School District
 
This year’s awarded projects can be viewed at: http://www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped/safe-routes

A committee representing bicyclists, pedestrians, educators, law enforcement, parents, metropolitan planning organizations and transportation planning regions reviewed and scored this year’s 38 applications.  Any political subdivision in the state (school district, city, county, state and tribal entity) was eligible to apply for a grant.  Several non-profits are working with grantees to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety education and encouragement.

Grantees design programs that meet the needs of their schools and community. Projects vary from adding sidewalks, improving crossings, or adding a pedestrian underpass to educating elementary and/or middle school students about bicycle and pedestrian safety and skills training.  In some projects, physical education teachers receive train-the-trainer programs to aid them in sustaining programs at their schools. Purchasing bicycles for use in PE programs is a component in several grant projects. 

Encouragement programs are various, from hosting Walk and Bike to School Days, Hike and Bike Days, Tires-n-Tennies Tuesdays, or Walking Wednesdays. Organizing Walking School Buses and Bike Trains are a component for several projects. The goal for all of these programs is to increase the number of students walking and biking safely to and from school.

 “We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made as we complete the tenth year of the program,” added Feuerborn.  “Along with enhancing safety, SRTS is a good way to introduce active transportation to children.” 

Another part of the program is the annual Walk to School Day in October and Bike to School Day in May.  Eighty schools have already registered their events for Bike to School Day, which is recognized nationally on May 4, but includes events throughout May.

The Safe Routes to School program was originally established by Congress in August 2005. This year’s projects are funded with federal funds and managed by CDOT.

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