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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ADOT's Safe Routes to School program funds $4.5 million in projects

Several students from Calabasas
Middle School in Rio
 Rico take part
in a walk-to-school event.
It’s still summer vacation for most students, but several schools across Arizona already are planning on creating or enhancing their Safe Routes to School programs for next school year, thanks to reimbursement grants from ADOT.

Just last month, the State Transportation Board approved more than $4.5 million in grant funding for 27 Safe Routes to School projects in schools and communities statewide!

The projects, from easy start-up programs to major infrastructure improvements, are all designed to encourage kids of all ages to walk or bike to school and develop a healthy lifestyle...

That’s really the goal of Safe Routes to School – a federally funded program, administered in Arizona by ADOT. You can read more about the program HERE and HERE, but basically ADOT distributes federal grant money annually to schools, districts, tribal communities, municipalities and nonprofit agencies that successfully outline projects designed to help remove the barriers preventing students from safely and conveniently walking or biking to school.

More about the recent grant funding approval...
The 27 projects that recently received grant funding include 12 designated for infrastructure improvements (such as the construction of sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, signage and striping). An additional 15 projects are for non-infrastructure elements, such as providing bike helmets to students, safety education and law enforcement. View a complete list of grant recipients and their awards for the current funding cycle on the Safe Routes to School web page.

Walking School Bus
ADOT's Safe Routes program also recently awarded reimbursement grants for the very first time to support a project called the Walking School Bus. This involves students and parent volunteers meeting at a designated safe location to walk to school as a group. The grants cover the cost of a Walking School Bus coordinator and stipends for volunteers to assist the coordinator.

"Walking School Buses are simple and fun ways for groups of kids to get a bit of physical activity right in their own neighborhoods," said Brian Fellows, ADOT's Safe Routes to School coordinator. "They can work anywhere — in urban, suburban and rural areas. One way to organize them is by utilizing a remote park and walk location — a park, retail area, church or other place of worship. Select a safe drop-off point away from the school site. Parents can drop off their kids at the site — by car or by walking. From here, they join the group of kids on an adult-escorted walk to school. There's safety in numbers. And the program has the added benefit of reducing the number of cars that typically clog the school parking lot."

Eight schools and agencies around Arizona received a portion of the $124,000 in grant money designated for the Walking School Bus program.

Safe Routes to School is a completely federally funded program. Since its first grant cycle in 2007, ADOT has provided more than $15 million to schools and communities statewide. The federal Safe Routes to School program was created by the U.S. Congress in 2005 as a response to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  


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Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at 602.712.8946 or at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles al 602.712.8946 o en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.