Fourteen projects intended to encourage children to walk or bicycle to school have been selected for funding through the Safe Routes to School program administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
A total of $945,250 will be allocated for projects including development of a Safe Routes to School plan and infrastructure construction.
The federal program, created in 2005, has several purposes:
- Enable and encourage children, including those who are disabled, to walk or bicycle to school;
- Make walking or biking to school safe and appealing;
- Facilitate projects that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
The following cities have been selected for Phase I funding, which covers the costs of developing a Safe Routes to School plan: Bird City, Caldwell, Chetopa, Ellsworth, Jetmore, Manhattan, Osage City, Oswego, and Pittsburg. All cities will receive up to $15,000.
Receiving Phase II funding for infrastructure improvements are Holcomb, $200,000; Humboldt, $200,000; Lyndon, $200,000; and Salina, $65,100. Phase II projects can include sidewalk improvement or construction, pavement markings and signage.
Funding in the amount of $145,150 was also awarded to the PedNet Coalition to develop Walking School Bus programs in15 schools across the state. This funding will train volunteers to start up successful programs in which groups of children walk to school with adult supervision.