Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Thursday more than $1 million in Safe Routes to School funding to 13 school systems, local governments and not-for-profit groups across the Commonwealth to make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing to students.
“Walking and biking to school offers a host of benefits to students, communities and the environment,” says Kaine. “We want to encourage alternative means of transportation for Virginians of all ages, and these grants will help ensure that our children can get to school safely by foot or bike.”
The Safe Routes to School program is designed for localities, schools and not-for-profit groups seeking to improve walking and bicycling opportunities for kindergarten through eighth grade students. Funds can be used for promotion, education and law enforcement activities. Local governments are also eligible to apply for funding to improve infrastructure in the vicinity of schools.
The statewide program is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.
“We want to encourage walking and bicycling to school in the most safe and fun manner for Virginia’s children,” says VDOT Commissioner David S. Ekern. “These funding awards promote safety, provide infrastructure and encourage active healthy lifestyles. Drivers are always reminded to share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians, especially our children.”
The following localities will receive funding for infrastructure projects. These can include pedestrian and bicycle crossings, sidewalks, signing and traffic-calming improvements:
- City of Charlottesville - $328,280
- City of Harrisonburg - $455,335
The following localities, school systems and not-for-profit groups will receive funding to develop and implement local Safe Routes to School programs. The programs can include crossing guard training, outreach, participation encouragement and safety education:
- Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County) - $50,000
- Bedford County Public Schools - $15,000
- Chesterfield County Public Schools - $25,000
- Goochland County Schools - $10,170
- Lunenburg County - $25,000
- Portsmouth Public Schools - $24,935
- Roanoke County Public Schools - $17,610
- Salem City Public Schools - $10,000
- Town of Stanley - $10,000
- Virginia Beach Public Schools - $25,000
- Town of West Point - $10,000
The next opportunity to apply for Safe Routes to School funding will begin in August. For more information on funding and the application process, click on the link below.