Chagrin Falls Safe Routes to School Program Wins National Award
GARFIELD HEIGHTS (Friday, October 19, 2012) – Today, the Chagrin Falls Safe Routes to School program was awarded the 2012 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. This is the highest honor a Safe Routes to School program can receive.
Each year, the National Center for Safe Routes to School bestows the award to a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in the United States for its outstanding achievement in promoting safe walking and bicycling to school. Chagrin is being recognized for achieving significant results in increasing the number of student bicyclists and walkers, improved safety for students and creating new partnerships among community stakeholders while making active transportation an integral part of the school’s culture.
“The selection committee was very impressed with the breadth and depth of Chagrin Falls’ program,” said Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “They really did it all. Their creative approach spanned the “5 E’s” that are ideal for any SRTS program: engineering and infrastructure, enforcement, safety education, encouragement and evaluation.”
Safe Routes Chagrin has received over $700,000 in Federal SRTS funding to support new sidewalks and paths, bike racks, school zone signage and pavement markings, safety assemblies and outreach programs, a new “Safe House” program, equipment and training for crossing guards, and promotion and education materials.
“Safe Route to School has been a great addition to our school’s emphasis on our district wide initiative of healthy living,” said Chagrin Falls School District Superintendent Robert Hunt. “The school district is very appreciative of the Safe Routes to School committee’s hard work led by Kathryn Garvey, President of Safe Routes Chagrin.”
Sixty-six percent of students in the Chagrin Falls School District live within two miles of school; however in 2009 less than 17 percent of students walked or biked to school. Now with these improvements 26 percent of students regularly walk or bike to school, which is equivalent to an extra 50 students every day. Students are having fun with their friends while getting exercise and doing something good for the environment.
In addition to walking and biking more often to school, students are enjoying fun activities like Walk to School Day, Bike to School Day, Bike-a-Palooza bike rodeo and Walk and Roll Wednesdays.
“Programs like this one are very rare and yet are essential for small communities like Chagrin Falls with minimal funds to make the types of infrastructure and education outreach changes that must be made together at one time to truly encourage and support a change in attitude toward walking and biking,” said Chagrin Falls Mayor, Thomas Brick.
For more information contact:
or email D12.PublicInformation@dot.state.oh.us
The ODOT District 12 Communications Office at (216) 584-2005