Office of the Governor
NJDOT awards $5.4 million in
Safe Routes to School grants
Grants will improve pedestrian safety
through engineering and education
( Trenton ) - Highlighting the importance of pedestrian safety, Commissioner Stephen Dilts today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will award $5.4 million in Fiscal Year 2009 Safe Routes to School grants to 37 communities.
“The Safe Routes to School program improves safety for all pedestrians, and especially schoolchildren,” said Commissioner Dilts. “This program enhances the role of transportation in promoting pediatric health and safety.”
The Safe Routes to School program, created in 2006 to encourage children to walk and bike to school, will provide local governments funds ranging from $10,000 to $300,000 for pedestrian safety improvements near schools. Infrastructure improvement projects to be funded through the program include the construction of sidewalks, the improvement of existing sidewalks, and the installation of new crosswalks, school-zone markings, and speed-limit signs. The grants may also be used for educational and promotional pedestrian safety projects such as “Walk to School” days, public outreach and awareness programs, and bike rodeos.
The Safe Routes to School program increases pedestrian safety awareness among motorists and schoolchildren. Safe Routes to School also helps the environment by easing traffic jams and curbing air pollution. In addition, the program can improve pediatric health by providing regular physical activity.
In 2006, Governor Jon S. Corzine created a five-year, $74 million initiative to improve pedestrian safety throughout New Jersey by encouraging motorists share the road with pedestrians through engineering, education and enforcement. The initiative includes $15 million over five years for the Safe Routes to Schools program.
The NJDOT Safe Routes to School program is part of a national program conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the 2005 passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Congress designated a total of $612 million toward developing the National Safe Routes to School Program.