Safe Routes to School picks up steam at statewide forum

We were proud to be a part of this past Friday’s inaugural Safe Routes to School statewide forum, held at Decatur High School.

Sponsored by GDOT and the GA Safe Routes to School Resource Center, this daylong conference featured workshops with speakers who covered a variety a topics on how our communities can be healthy, safe places for children to walk and bike to school.

Our Executive Director joined other panelists for a conversation on engaging law enforcement with SRTS programs. Dr. Jim Lidstone, a Georgia Bikes board member, also spoke, sharing ideas for how colleges and universities can also promote Safe Routes to School. Nearly 100 people from across Georgia travelled to Decatur for this first-time SRTS forum. We hope to see more events like this, and we look forward to sharing best practices for improving bicycle safety and access for Georgia’s schoolchildren!

Hot on the heels of the forum, we received this GDOT announcement for an exciting project in Thomaston:

Safe Routes To Schools…
New Project Beginning Next Week to Improve Safety for Children Walking/Biking to School

THOMASTON – Georgia Department of Transportation announced today that work near the Chattahoochee 

County Education Center will begin Monday, June 16. Safe Routes to School projects are planned to enhance walking and bicycling opportunities; improving the health and well-being of children in grades K-8—including those with disabilities—by making it safe, convenient and fun to walk or bike to school every day.

In conjunction with the Georgia DOT and the Chattahoochee County School System, which sponsored the projects, this school will construct and improve campus-area facilities such as sidewalks and crosswalks and address safety issues by various programs – all designed to make it easier and safer for students to walk or bike to class.

This project was awarded to Robinson Paving Company of Columbus, GA for $444,096.22 and consists of adding 1700 linear feet of sidewalk along Broad Street, replacing the existing 1115 linear feet of sidewalk along Merrell Street, adding curb and gutter and storm drain pipes. This project will also add ADA ramps, resting benches, a bicycle rack at the School, School Zone flashing speed limit signage and pedestrian crossing signage.

The project is estimated to be completed by July 31, 2014; just in time for teachers to return to class on August 1. There will be minimal lane closures and advanced notice will be given when they occur.

“SRTS is a worthwhile program from many perspectives,” Thomas Howell, GDOT District Engineer commented.  “It can reduce those aggravating and pollution-generating waits to drop off or pick up children and at the same time, encourage our children to stay safe, active and physically fit.”

Safe Routes to School is a federally funded, national program to reduce congestion, improve safety and promote the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. With the support of parents, schools, community members and government, the program evaluates school area environments; conducts activities; and funds projects that improve safety, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the surrounding community – making walking and bicycling to school a safer and more appealing transportation option.

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