Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Safe Routes to Schools

Last week, Caltrans awarded $66 million to cities, counties, and regional agencies for 139 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects to improve safety for students in grades K-8 who walk and bicycle to and from school. In the allocation process, Caltrans works closely with a diverse group of state, local, and regional stakeholders representing transportation, health, education, law enforcement, and bicycle/pedestrian advocates.

The funding was provided by the federal SRTS program. Since its inception in 2005, Caltrans has awarded $156 million for 356 SRTS projects. Caltrans District 7 awarded $16.6 million to 25 cities in Los Angeles County and two cities in Ventura County. Some of the notable projects in that received funding for approximately 125 schools include:

$1 million each to the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park and Glendale to construct raised pedestrian islands, sidewalks and bike lanes and upgrade traffic signals, signs and striping near Gladstone Elementary School in Azusa and at various areas near several schools in Baldwin Park and Glendale.

Nearly $1 million each to the City of Los Angeles and Pico Rivera. The funds will construct roundabouts, crosswalks, pedestrian crossing warning devices, and will be used to install signs, striping and bike racks on 11th Street between Harvard Boulevard to Vermont Avenue near Berendo Middle School. In Pico Rivera, eleven schools will benefit by the installation of traffic signals, flashing beacons, pedestrian crosswalks, and curb and gutter improvements.

$925,000 to the City of Palmdale’s Mesquite Elementary School to install traffic signals and bike lanes, upgrade crosswalks, signs and pavement markings and curb ramps.

In Ventura County, $425,000 was allocated to the Rio Del Valle Middle School in to install traffic signals, and construct crosswalks, bike lanes, and $621,000 to Anacapa Middle School for similar improvements.