MDOT announces "Safe Routes to School" grants to six schools in five Michigan counties
May 31, 2012 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today announced that six schools in five counties will receive Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grants to encourage more students to walk and bicycle safely to school.
Federal SRTS funding enables schools to make infrastructure improvements and offer educational activities, such as the Walking School Bus program. MDOT and the Michigan Fitness Foundation partner to work with schools, neighborhoods, students, teachers, parents, school transportation directors and local law enforcement agencies.
"Safe Routes creates a partnership between schools, teachers, parents, students, and local communities that result in transportation improvements that make walking and bicycling safer options for students of all ages," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "MDOT is pleased to participate in this effort to encourage children to be more active and get regular exercise for good health."
"The award of the Safe Routes grant represents a huge win for the children of Berrien Springs," said Berrien Springs Superintendent of Schools Jim Bermingham. "Students will soon be much safer walking to school because of the efforts of many community stakeholders caring enough to take action. These sidewalk and road improvements are a good reason to celebrate a victory for students and the greater Berrien Springs community."
The schools receiving grants are listed by county:
Frankfort Elementary School, in partnership with the city of Frankfort, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on James and 11th streets; improve the crosswalks at two intersections: M-22 and Leelanau Avenue, and 6th Street and Leelanau Avenue; install driver feedback and school zone signs on M-22; and install a bicycle rack at the school. The school also will hold a bicycle rodeo and a classroom mileage competition. The project budget is $196,859.
Sylvester Elementary School and Berrien Springs Middle School, in partnership with the village of Berrien Springs, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Main and West Mars streets, Sylvester Avenue, Kephart Lane, and Mars Drive; a multi-use path on the school campus from M-139 to Sylvester Elementary; a crosswalk across M-139 at Kephart Lane; and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant ramps and crosswalk markings at several intersections near campus. It also will carry out an incentive program to encourage students to walk and bike to school. The project budget is $138,502.
Maple Valley Junior/Senior High School, in partnership with the village of Vermontville, Vermontville Township, Eaton County Parks, and the Eaton County Road Commission, will install a shared-use path in Vermontville on an existing rail bed. The path will go from Linden Street west to Mason Road and then south along the west side of Mason Road to the school campus. The project budget is $281,833.
Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary School, in partnership with MDOT and the city of Flint, will install sidewalks and crosswalks at seven locations: University, Cottage Grove and 6th avenues, and Cadillac, Stevenson, Frost, and Gladwyn streets. The school also will establish pedestrian safety education and walking school bus programs. The project budget is $362,362.
Palmer Elementary School, in partnership with the city of Grand Rapids, will install LED pedestrian countdown signals at four intersections: Plainfield Avenue and Ann Street, Plainfield Avenue and Quimby Street, Plainfield Avenue and Sweet Street, and Ann Street at Coit Avenue. At several intersections, crosswalks will be improved with pavement markings and school crossing signs, and ADA-compliant ramps where needed. A pedestrian refuge island at the intersection of Plainfield Avenue and Palmer Street will be added, as well as a speed bump on Palmer Avenue and three bicycle racks at the school. The school also will conduct pedestrian and bicycle safety education, a walk and bicycle to school encouragement program and establish a parent patrol program. The project budget is $108,850.
MDOT's role is to administer the federally legislated SRTS program that creates opportunities for collaboration with agencies and partners not traditionally involved with transportation funding. The SRTS program provides educational programs, infrastructure improvements and encouragement activities to help children safely walk and bike to school and increase their physical activity.
Funding for SRTS programs was established by Congress under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU) and continued under extensions of SAFETEA-LU. SRTS funding is 100 percent federal, with no local match required. More information is available at online at:www.saferoutesmichigan.org.
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