Eight applicants have been awarded funds that will help young students walk, bike and roll safely to and from school.
The funds are specifically set aside for non-infrastructure investments, aimed at education and encouragement, and include things like teaching students safe practices, developing action plans around schools and more. Awardees and awards for 2017 – 2019 are the cities of Gresham, Hillsboro, and Portland; Clackamas and Jackson counties; Lane Transit District Point2Point; Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments; and Commute Options of Central Oregon.
Safe Routes to School Program goals are based on the “6 E’s” – Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, Engineering and Equity. While this award program does not pay for engineering or infrastructure, the work it does support can lead to those kinds of investments, in partnership with local transportation agencies. For example, action plans involve activities such as identifying what barriers exist in the infrastructure surrounding schools. These plans also look at ways to increase the physical activity level of children while safely going to and from school. For more information about Safe Routes to School grants, visit the ODOT website here.