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Safe Routes to School Projects Funded

The City of Toledo has been selected by ODOT to receive nearly $460,000 in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding for district-wide infrastructure improvements to make it safer for children to walk or bicycle to school. There are 40 elementary (K-8) schools in the Toledo Public School (TPS) District. The grant is the result of collaboration among Live Well Greater Toledo (a program of the Greater Toledo YMCA), the Toledo Public Schools, and the City of Toledo.

During this funding round, only 28 percent of Ohio applicants were awarded any funding at all and the TPS SRTS program received 100 percent of its funding request. “The fact that the Toledo Public Schools SRTS program achieved one hundred percent funding speaks to the overall quality of the travel plan,” said Christine Connell, TMACOG staff for the Pedestrian and Bikeways Committee. “This is sure to get more students walking and biking to school.”

TMACOG contributed to the development of the School Travel Plan through the TPS Safe Routes to School committee. This plan details barriers to active transportation and recommends solutions. An approved school travel plan is required before a group can apply for SRTS funds to implement the plan. Development of the School Travel Plan was supported by funds from Transportation Alternatives Program, a federal program administered by TMACOG.

Infrastructure funds will be available during state fiscal year 2017 and will fund the following types of projects:

Upgraded crosswalks/countdown displays
Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (pedestrian-activated crossing)
Enhanced pedestrian railroad bridge lighting
Pedestrian crosswalk and pedestrian refuge island
Improved sidewalk projects

Non-infrastructure funding is available during the 2016 fiscal year and will include programs such as:

Walking School Bus - An adult-led group of students follow a specific route, picking up students along the way. The route is reversed in the afternoons.
Bicycle Safety Education - A collaboration with Toledo Bikes!, the free program repairs bikes and provides safety training and helmets.
Bicycle Lock Loan Program - Schools will loan bicycle locks to students who might not otherwise want to ride their bike to school.
Operation Lifesaver Program – Provides students with pedestrian safety education around trains. Several of the Toledo Public schools are located near train tracks that students must cross in order to walk or bike to school.
Walking and Biking Route Maps – Every student will receive a copy of a route map at the beginning of the school year identifying the safest route for walking or biking to school. A map has been developed for each of the 40 K-8 schools. The maps are here.

For more information on the Toledo Schools program, contact Jenny Hansen, Live Well Toledo Safe Routes To School Coordinator at 419.699.8040. For more information on TMACOG’s Pedestrian and Bikeways Committee, see webpages here.



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