ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald today announced $26.5 million in federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding for 64 project sponsors to implement infrastructure improvements and public education campaigns across the state to encourage elementary and middle school children to safely walk and bike to school.
"The projects supported by this round of federal funding will help children get to school safely by providing features such as sidewalks, multi-use paths, crosswalks and pedestrian signals near schools," Commissioner McDonald said. "The education component of the program can help families make healthy, sustainable transportation choices and teach kids how to safely use the infrastructure in their communities."
Eligible projects must be located within two miles of a primary or middle school, be located on public right-of-way, benefit the public interest and address at least one of the five SRTS categories. Categories include engineering (infrastructure) efforts, as well as education, enforcement, encouragement and evaluation of program impact (non-infrastructure) efforts.
The intent of Safe Routes to School is to enable and encourage children to walk or bicycle to school; help children adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle by making bicycling and walking a safer and more appealing transportation alternative; and facilitate the planning, development and implementation of transportation projects that will improve safety while reducing traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
Federal funding was made available to NYSDOT, which administers the SRTS program and will reimburse 100 percent of eligible project costs for these successful programs.
Funding can be used for targeted infrastructure improvement projects located within a two-mile radius of an elementary or middle school. This could include installation of traffic signals or crosswalks, construction or rehabilitation of sidewalks and traffic mitigation measures.
Funding can also be used for non-infrastructure public-education and public-outreach projects. This may include conducting police enforcement operations and developing education programs for parents and children on the benefits of walking or bicycling to school.
Commissioner McDonald announced the availability of applications for the Safe Routes to School program in May and applications were due October 5, 2012.
Information about the NYSDOT Safe Routes to School program is available on the NYSDOT website at www.dot.ny.gov/safe-routes-to-school.