ODOT awards record $11.6 million for Safe Routes to School

COLUMBUS (Wednesday, April 6, 2010) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) today announces the awarding of $11.6 million in anticipated federal transportation funds for 90 projects through the successful Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. Each project will receive anywhere from $1,000 to nearly $500,000. All totaled, these awards make up the highest amount of funding the program has ever distributed at one time.

The proposed projects - sponsored by Ohio communities - encourage and enable schoolchildren from Kindergarten to eighth grade to safely walk or bicycle to and from their neighborhood schools.

"The goal of SRTS projects is to combine health and fitness with safety," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "It is an opportunity to work closely with schools and communities to create a healthy lifestyle for children and a safer, cleaner environment for everyone."

Funding will go to 34 communities requesting support for school travel plan development. With these grants and engineering support, these communities will be able to develop their own SRTS programs. Once completed, they will be in a position to apply for more funds to implement their ideas.

SRTS awards went to infrastructure improvements for local communities: improving sidewalks, creating new walking/biking connections, putting in bike racks and improving cross-walks and other safety features in communities all across the state. More comprehensive projects to be funded include the construction of new sidewalks, curb extensions and pavement markings.

Still other funds will go to providing education and encouragement programs on the SRTS concept.

"The safety message needs to be heard by many people at all levels," stated Director Wray. "The recent awards will not only go for providing information to children and their parents, but to provide professional assistance, such as training for crossing guards."

ODOT has administered the SRTS program since 2004, and has awarded more than $32 million in project funding.

For more information on Safe Routes to School, visit: www.dot.state.oh.us/SafeRoutes

 Click here for the 2011 Anticipated SRTS Projects List

For more information contact:
Joel Hunt, Central Office Communications, at (614) 466-7173
or your local ODOT District Communications