Office of the Governor|
Governor McGreevey announces $13 million
in grants to keep school children and pedestrians safe
(Middlesex Borough) — As part of his efforts to keep New Jersey’s children safe and secure, Governor James E. McGreevey announced the award of $13 million in grants today, $6 million designed to protect New Jersey’s children on their way to and from school and $7 million to build bike paths throughout New Jersey.
The Governor appeared at the Hazelwood School in Middlesex Borough with Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere and Assemblywoman Linda Stender to present a check for $250,000, where the Safe Streets grant will pay for sidewalks, handicapped ramps, new signs and striping lead up to the Hazelwood School, the Watchung/Mauger School, the Parker School and Middlesex High School. Most students in the borough do not have bus service.
Statewide, 48 grants totaling $6 million were awarded, in keeping with the Governor’s commitment to safety and education.
“Nationally, children who walk to school account for at least one third of all pedestrian miles,” said Governor McGreevey. “With our Safe Streets to Schools grants, we’re investing $13 million to ensure that our children who walk or bike to school have a safe trip. Along with Amber Alert and Maggie’s Law, this is yet another step in our efforts to protect New Jersey’s children.”
Projects were selected based on a competitive application process that centered on creating safer walkways and crosswalks and any transportation safety improvement that would increase motorist awareness of children and the routes they use to reach school. Of New Jersey’s 1.38 million school children, 577,000 do not take a bus to school and instead walk, ride their bikes, or rely on parents for rides.
“Under Governor McGreevey’s leadership, we’ve made many strides in improving the lives of New Jersey’s working families, making them better and safer,” said Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “First on our highways and mass transit system, and now on the streets that our children travel daily to reach school.”
In addition to the Safe Streets grants, Governor McGreevey also announced $7 million statewide to fund 50 bike path projects. The funds will create new bikeways or extend existing paths, which are used by school children as well as recreational bicyclists.
Throughout the week the Governor will focus on public safety initiatives across the State. In the last year and a half great strides have been made to keep our families safe. A recently released 2002 Uniform Crime Report shows a four percent drop in overall crime, and we are now the first state in the Nation to enact smart gun legislation and to impose jail time and fines for sleep-deprived drivers, under Maggie’s Law. The Governor has also implemented Amber Alert and has made highway safety a top priority with his #77 campaign and Safe Corridors program.