ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Transportation is accepting applications for projects that will enhance biking and walking conditions for students in grades K-8. Local governments and school systems can apply for federal funds through the Department’s Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS).
“In an effort to stretch dollars, several municipalities have opted to eliminate school bus services to students residing within a 1 1⁄2-mile from schools,” said DOT Commissioner Vance Smith Jr. “This is an excellent opportunity for communities to apply for the federal funds needed to aid their walking/biking student population. Ultimately more children walking with their parents leads to reduced congestion and air pollution in the school vicinity.”
Schools are encouraged to submit applications to improve or install sidewalks, raised crosswalks, raised medians and traffic control devices. Any measure that will separate children from vehicular traffic or divert traffic from school zones is eligible for funding. Infrastructure funding is limited to $500,000 per application.
However, schools must already be partnered with Georgia’s SRTS Resource Center.
Georgia DOT will host four SRTS Infrastructure Application Workshops statewide during the last week of August. The sessions will run from 10 a.m.-noon. The nearest workshop date and location is Sept. 1 at The Savannah Civic Center.
Completed SRTS Infrastructure Applications will be due by 4 p.m. Nov. 23. The department anticipates that project selections and applicant notifications will be completed by March 2011. Questions about the Call can be sent to email@example.com.
Safe Routes to School is a national program to improve 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, local, state and federal government, sustainable programs can be implemented.
The program evaluates built environment around schools, conducts activities and funds projects that improve safety, reduce traffic and air pollution in the surrounding area of the school. As a result, this program makes walking and bicycling to school a safer and more appealing transportation option.
Further information about the program is available at www.dot.ga.gov/srts.