A recent article from AP, published in Atlanta, Boston, Washington; also covered by NPR back in May, describes the new projects and federal funds for the Safe Routes to School program. According to the article, $16 million in federal funding is available in Georgia through 2009.
The first step in the project is a planning grant so that a school can begin a Safe Routes to School plan to include educational programs, encouragement/incentive programs, enforcement, as well as infrastructure improvements:
“There has been a lot of interest in infrastructure but we are trying to get communities to understand this is not just a free sidewalk program. This is about teaching kids about activity and giving them a safe area where they can walk from home to school,” said spokeswoman Carrie Hamblin.
The goal is to develop a safe means for children, often accompanied by their parents, to walk or bike to school, instead of being driven individually as is often the case today. We have several potential sites along our route which would greatly benefit from this project in the development of trails infrastructure, and we look forward to working with local school groups to get those projects funded.