Last week several students at Martin Elementary School attended a bicycle safety program through the city of Crossville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. 

The city of Crossville received a grant through the program that allows municipalities to improve their sidewalk infrastructure to assist a safe route for children to walk or bike to school. 

The grant went toward funding 2,200 feet of sidewalk on Fourth St. and 2,300 feet of sidewalk on Myrtle Ave. for students traveling to Martin Elementary and Cumberland County High School.

According to TDOT, SRTS is a federally-funded program focusing on the benefits of children walking and biking to school. Its programs aim to improve safety for children and the community and provide opportunities to increase physical activity. 

Congress provided SRTS funding to states through the federal surface transportation bill called the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) received more than $21 million for the SRTS program from the Federal Highway Administration for Federal fiscal years 2005 to 2012. 

The grant is broken into two parts: $225,000 for construction and $25,000 for education and outreach.

Last week students in third, fourth and fifth grade attended a bike rodeo where they learned about the benefits of walking and biking to school, as well as all aspects of safety that are involved.

The students learned about the proper hand signals for biking, how to properly measure and fit a bicycle helmet, how to safely cross the street with a bicycle, and how to measure the proper size of a bicycle to ride.

Gary Nelson may be reached at

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