From: A Time of Opportunity: Local Solutions to Reduce Inequities in Health and Safety
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Federal funding gives states and localities a resource for programs that make walking and bicycling conditions safer, more accessible, and more convenient for children and their families. New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is carrying out an Urban Demonstration Project in Newark, Trenton, and Camden to identify barriers to applying for and implementing SRTS programs in urban communities. NJDOT engaged students, school officials, and neighborhood partners to develop a needs assessment and a transportation plan that prioritized safe walking and bicycling. Through the community assessment process, NJDOT identified violence and crime, blighted buildings, and traffic safety as key concerns they will now address in the final package of infrastructure and programming improvements, using SRTS resources. Congress created a $612 million federal SRTS program in the 2005 federal transportation bill to launch efforts from 2005 to 2009. The pending authorization of a new federal transportation bill can be an opportunity to substantially expand the SRTS program.
To learn more about Safe Routes to School, visit http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/.