Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

June 24, 2010

Representative Eric Swafford announces 'Safe Routes to School' grant for Crossville

Representative Eric Swafford (R-Pikeville) today announced a grant for the City of Crossville totaling $249,724 through the state’s “Safe Routes to School” program. The grant funds will pay for improvements at Glenn Martin Elementary School. The Safe Routes to School program is a statewide initiative designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer, more appealing and healthier alternative for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

These grant funds will make routes to school safer, and make our communities more vibrant. Students will be able to safely walk or bike to school, and this promotes a healthy lifestyle,” said Representative Swafford.

Glenn Martin Elementary School will utilize the Safe Routes to School funds for approximately 3,600 linear feet of sidewalk construction in the vicinity of the school. In addition to the Safe Routes to School Program, the city of Crossville has also established an annual sidewalk installation program. The city’s goal is to construct at least a mile of sidewalk each year with the major emphasis for installation being areas adjacent to school sites and the downtown central business district. Funds will also be used to provide a safety educational program and promotional activities to encourage walking and biking as a safe and healthy initiative for both students and parents.

The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The program is comprised of five elements referred to as the 5 Es. The selection process was driven by the following:

Engineering — creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establishing safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails and bikeways.

Education — teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools. 

Enforcement — partnering with local law enforcement agencies to ensure traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of schools (including enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and to initiate community enforcement such as crossing guard programs. 

Encouragement — events and activities to promote walking and bicycling (bike rodeos). 

Evaluation — monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data both before and after the intervention.

To learn more about the Safe Routes to School Program at the Tennessee Department of Transportation, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/saferoutes.htm.

 

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