State Awards $7.2 Million to Improve Walkways, Paths

Wed July 17, 2013 - Midwest Edition

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced in late May $7.2 million for 58 different Safe Routes to School projects in local communities all over Ohio.

The funding will be used to help communities improve safety for school children by building or improving sidewalks and crosswalks. It will also provide more education and encouragement to help children learn how to be safe when walking or bicycling to school.

“Improving safety invites a positive chain reaction in our neighborhoods,” said Karen Waldbillig Kasich, Ohio first lady and Ohio Safe Routes to school ambassador. “These projects will not only encourage students and families to walk and bicycle to school, but also reduce traffic and pollution — improving both the health and safety of our communities.”

Ohio’s Safe Routes to School Program is designed to assist communities in developing and implementing projects and programs that encourage and enable children in grades k-8, including those with disabilities, to walk or bike to school safely.

“Our goal with these projects is to help communities improve safety,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We believe the Safe Routes to School program is a great way to encourage safer behavior by working with local communities and their kids.”

Local and regional governments, schools and community organizations are eligible to apply for funding.