ODOT targets record $11 million to Safe Routes to School projects
COLUMBUS (Thursday, April 1, 2010) – With projects aimed at keeping children from walking in the streets or along train tracks to increasing the number of police officers watching over school zones, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will invest a record $11 million to make getting to school safer for students in 41 Ohio communities.
The $11 million in federal transportation funds to be invested this year will represent the most ODOT has invested in its successful Safe Routes to School program since it began in 2004. In all, ODOT will fund 66 projects ranging in size from $1,650 to $500,000.
Among the largest projects to be funded, the city of Columbus will receive $500,000 to construct new sidewalks and a safer railroad crossing to prevent children at Westmoor Middle and Valleyview Elementary schools from walking along dangerous railroad tracks to get to school. The city will receive an additional $500,000 for new signage and crosswalks to provide for safer intersections near two elementary schools.
In District 9, which includes Adams, Brown, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties, schools and communities have been selected to receive more than $1.15 million, with nearly $1.1 million designated for infrastructure projects and $64,800 designated for non-infrastructure programs. Specifically, the following will receive these funds:
- Village of Manchester $121,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
- Village of Peebles $205,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
- Ohio Valley Local School District $20,500 Non-infrastructure educational/encouragement programs
- Ohio Valley Local School District $33,500 Non-infrastructure educational/encouragement programs
- Manchester Local School District $10,800 Non-infrastructure educational/encouragement programs
- Village of Aberdeen $252,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
- City of Ironton $151,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
- Village of South Point $153,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
- Village of Frankfort $212,000 Infrastructure pedestrian facilities
Other construction projects include: 100,000 to the city of Athens for construction of two hillside stairwells to serve two schools and $105,000 to the city of Gahanna for construction of a designated bike lane along a busy roadway.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, since 1980, the prevalence of obesity has tripled among school-age children, and it remains high at approximately 17%. Aimed at elementary and middle schools, ODOT’s Safe Routes to School program is part of a national movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to walk and bike to and from schools.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
Or Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9, at 740-774-8834