The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) today announced that 30 schools will receive a total of $170,000 in Planning and Program Development grants through the Agency’s Safe Routes to School program. Competition for funding was solid, as VTrans received 13 applications representing 35 schools for a total request of $225,000.
The grants will be used by schools to help them form “travel plans” that will identify the barriers (both cultural and physical) that prevent students from walking and bicycling to school.
Sixty schools across the state have participated in the program since 2006. This most recent round of funding focuses on adding new schools to the program, as well as supports schools that have an ongoing program but need additional funds to help change the culture in their community.
“Safe Routes to School is about kids walking and biking to school regularly, routinely, and safely,” said VTrans Secretary David Dill, “These planning funds provide schools with the means they need to develop opportunities to bring their communities together to solve some of their pressing safety, environmental and health challenges.”
VTrans in 2009 also will award about $25,000 worth of bike racks to schools that were previously or are currently in the Safe Routes to School Program. The funding will purchase approximately 300 bike racks. Eligible schools must submit an application to be eligible. Applications are due June 5, 2009 and can be found on the Vermont website at http://www.aot.state.vt.us/progdev/Sections/LTF/SRTS/VTSRTS.htm.
Safe Routes to School is a Federally funded safety program that is administered through VTrans. The program supplies money to schools for encouragement and education efforts aimed at increasing the number of K-8 students who walk or ride bikes to and from school. VTrans administers this program in two phases, with phase two consisting of funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements including sidewalks, multi-use paths and traffic-calming measures.
The percentage of kids who walk or bike to school has dropped dramatically over the past several decades; from 42% in 1969 to 16% in 2001 according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control. With the rise in childhood obesity as a national and Vermont issue, Safe Routes to School can be part of the solution. The Vermont Departments of Health and Education are both actively involved with the Safe Routes to School program.
A complete list of schools and awards is provided below.
Schools Covered by application
Number of schools
Academy School; Green Street School
Northwest Regional Planning Commission
Enosburg Falls Middle School and Enosburg Elementary School
Union Elementary School
Union Elementary School
Southern Windsor Regional Planning Commission
Windham Regional Planning Commission
Readsboro Central School
Guilford Elementary School
Guildford Elementary School
See list of schools below
Barnes Elementary School
CP Smith Elementary School
Porter's Point Elementary School
Colchester Middle School
Hinesburg Community School
Jericho Elementary School
Milton Elementary School
Lake Champlain Waldorf School
Tuttle Middle School
Westford Elementary School
St. Francis Xavier Elementary School
JFK Elementary School
Winooski Middle School
Williston Central School
For additional information about the selection of these projects or participation in the Safe Routes to School program, please contact Safe Routes to School Coordinator Aimee Pope at (802) 828-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org