ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Ohio school districts can now apply for funding that will develop and implement projects that promote safer walking and biking to school. Ohio Department of Transportation Press Secretary Matt Bruning discussed the ‘Safe Routes To School’ program and how it improves less than ideal safety concerns for students who walk or bike to school.
“Safe Routes to School has been around for several years and it’s really a funding program that allows us to partner with local communities or school districts around the state of Ohio to build the infrastructure that’s needed to make sure that kids can safely bike or walk to school. Or in some cases, it also funds education’ programs. It’s really all about making sure that our kids can get safely to and from school, either by foot or by bike,” Bruning said.
The program has partnered with schools from all across the state to build sidewalks, upgrade crosswalks, and sponsor events that teach bicycle and pedestrian safety. The program’s budget has been expanded this year, from $4 Million to $5 million dollars to accommodate a larger number of projects that may be submitted.
“They’re targeting locations where, for example, there are no sidewalks, we can put sidewalks in. Maybe it’s a location where crosswalks need some safety upgrades, we can install those. And it could just be something as simple as bike racks. It could be something as simple as educational programs to encourage kids to walk and bike instead of using other means of transportation,” Bruning said.
School districts interested in applying for SRTS funds must apply by March 3rd. And you can learn more about the program by visiting transportation.ohio.gov/saferoutes.