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Safe Routes to Schools projects to receive funding

Oct. 23, 2006 ( 06-290)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact: Lisa Koch, (785) 296-8593 or Steve Swartz, (785) 296-3585

Safe Routes to Schools projects to receive funding

Two dozen proposals intended to encourage more children to walk or bicycle to school have been selected for funding through a new program administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS), was created under last year’s federal transportation bill – SAFETEA-LU.  The intent of the program is to:

  • Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, 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 school.

“Obesity rates among children have more than doubled in the past 20 years,” said Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller. “It’s probably not just a coincidence that only 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or bicycle.”

All but two of the SRTS proposals selected for the funding, which will be done through reimbursement, will involve the development of a Safe Routes to School plan. The other two projects involve infrastructure improvements, such as sidewalks. Funding for the projects, which were selected from 62 applications, ranges from $2,400 to more than $245,000.

Nationally, the federally-funded SRTS will provide $615 million to cities, school districts and other entities throughout the nation over a five-year period. Kansas will receive about $1 million this year, increasing in following years to about $1.6 million in 2009.

“Safe Routes to Schools allows KDOT to partner with communities to help keep the children of Kansas safe, secure and healthy,” said Miller.

The following cities, school districts and other entities will receive Phase I funding, which covers the costs of developing an SRTS plan:

Baldwin, $14,780; Belle Plaine, $12,750; Concordia USD 333, $9,500; Conway Springs, $15,000; Lansing School District, $13,989; Leavenworth, $14,820; Lincoln, $9,700; Louisburg USD 416, $14,780; Lyons, $15,000; Marion, $14,500; Mid-America Regional Council, $2,400; Minneapolis, $12,800; Mulvane, $9,000; Neodesha, $13,300; Newton, $15,000; Parsons, $15,000; Plainville USD 270, $5,650; Stafford USD 369, $9,000; Sterling, $12,750; Unified Government of Wyandotte County, $75,000; Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, $15,000; Wichita Public Works, $15,000.

Receiving Phase II funding for infrastructure improvements are Satanta, $150,000, and the City of Sedgwick, $245,056.