The state transportation commission approved over two million dollars this week for projects designed to get more kids to get to school under their own power. Stuart Anderson of the Iowa Department of Transportation says it’s called "Safe Routes to School funding."
He says the program makes federal funding available to cities, counties, school districts and other organizations for infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements designed to encourage more middle school and elementary students to walk or ride their bikes to school. Anderson of the Iowa Department of Transportation says the money has several uses.
Anderson says typical improvements include adding more sidewalks and crosswalks, also "traffic calming actions" to reduce the speed of vehicle in front of schools. He says you don’t have to spend the money on physical improvements.
Anderson says you can use the money to develop a bicycle and pedestrian safety curriculum and materials promoting bicycle and pedestrian safety. The following projects won awards for non-infrastructure programs: the Black Hawk Metropolitan Area Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Study;Boone Safe Routes to School Program; City of Spencer Safe Routes to School Study;Clinton Community School District Safe Routes to School Plan;Dubuque Community Schools Safe Routes to School Plan; Engineering Assistance for Safe Routes to School; Fort Madison Safe Routes to School Plan; Iowa Safe Routes to School Encouragement and Education Program for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition; Mason City Safe Routes to School Initiative; Northeast Iowa Regional Safe Routes to School Initiative for Healthier Students. The projects won for infrastructure improvements: Urbandale Aurora Avenue Pedestrian Crossing;Cedar Rapids Cleveland Elementary Sidewalks ; Webster City East Second Street Trail for Kids; Solon Highway 1 Safety Project; Lake Mills Interior Arterial Route;Marshalltown Community School District Safe Routes to School; Cedar Rapids Oakland Road project; Safe Routes to Little Wapsi School in Rural Howard County;Safe Routes to School in Jewell (Phase I); Safe Routes to School Perry;Shellsburg Shapes Up with Safe Sidewalks; Clear Lake Traffic Signals 4th Avenue S and S 12th Street; Sioux City Unity Elementary School Trail.