Monday, July 16, 2007

NJDOT Announces Safe Route to School Grants

NJDOT awards $4.15 million in Safe Routes to School grants

Grants will improve pedestrian safety through engineering and education

(Trenton) - Highlighting the importance of pedestrian safety, Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will award $4.15 million in Safe Routes to School grants to 29 communities.

“The Fiscal Year 2007 Safe Routes to School Grants represent significant progress in Governor Corzine’s statewide pedestrian safety initiative,” said Commissioner Kolluri. “By addressing the needs of municipalities, NJDOT can improve road safety for all pedestrians, and especially schoolchildren.”

The initiative, created in 2006 as an effort to encourage New Jersey’s children to walk and bike to school, will provide local governments funds ranging from $7,500 to $337,000 for projects including the creation of safer walkways, bikeways and street crossings near schools.

The grants may be used for a variety of pedestrian safety improvements near schools. Infrastructure improvement projects to be funded through the program include the construction of sidewalks, the improvement of existing sidewalks, the installation of new crosswalks and school-zone markings and the installation of new speed-limit signs. The grants may also be used for educational and promotional pedestrian safety projects such as “Walk to School” days, public outreach and awareness programs and bike rodeos.

The goal of New Jersey's Safe Routes to School Program is to assist communities in developing and implementing projects and interactive programs that encourage walking and bicycling to school while enhancing the safety of these trips. The program increases pedestrian safety awareness among motorists and schoolchildren. Safe Routes to School also helps the environment by easing traffic jams and curbing air pollution. In addition, Safe Routes to School can improve pediatric health by providing regular physical activity.

Governor Jon S. Corzine last year created a five-year, $74 million initiative to improve pedestrian safety throughout New Jersey by encouraging motorists share the road with pedestrians through engineering, education and enforcement. The initiative includes $15 million over five years for the Safe Routes to Schools program.

The NJDOT Safe Routes to School program is part of a national program conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the 2005 passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Congress designated a total of $612 million toward developing the National Safe Routes to School Program.

FY 2007 Safe Routes to School Grant Awardees

Brigantine City, Atlantic County $90,000
Garfield City, Bergen County $18,000
Tenafly Borough, Bergen County $39,600
Allendale Borough, Bergen County $250,000
Ridgewood Village, Bergen County $158,000
Burlington City, Burlington County $280,000
Somerdale Borough, Camden County $13,150
Haddonfield Borough, Camden County $200,000
Oaklyn Borough, Camden County $36,350
North Wildwood City, Cape May County $24,500
South Orange Village, Essex County $10,000
Bloomfield Township, Essex County $55,000
Pittman Borough, Gloucester County $120,000
Hopewell Township, Mercer County $14,000
Dunellen Borough, Middlesex County $78,000
Neptune Township, Monmouth County $269,000
Netcong Borough, Morris County $150,000
Brick Township, Ocean County $190,000
Berandsville Borough, Somerset County $7,500
Somerville Borough, Somerset County $250,000
Newton Town, Sussex County $265,000
Roselle Borough, Union County $250,000
Cranford Township, Union County $90,000
Westfield Town, Union County $36,000
Greenwich Township, Warren County $150,000

FY 2007 Safe Routes to School Pilot Programs

Lumberton Township, Burlington County $226,000
Montclair Township, Essex County $324,000
Jamesburg Borough, Middlesex County $227,760
Wharton Borough, Morris County $337,000

4 comments:

Marrock said...

This is all really good and I, for one, hopes it really makes a difference, but one thing that really needs to be addressed is bicycle awareness.

It's been my experience that when on foot a driver see you and adjusts his own actions accordingly to avoid the pedestrian and give them a wide berth, but once that same pedestrian is on a bicycle and riding the same stretch of road that same driver will seem to make it his duty to pass as near to the cyclist as fast as possible.

To the point where I once saw a cyclist get blown over by the force of the wind caused by a truck passing him.

The vehicle never touched him but he wound up in the weeds just the same.

Now if someone tried to pass another vehicle or a pedestrian that closely he'd most likely wind up cited seven ways to sunday by the police but it seems to be acceptable to do such to a bicyclist.

Driver education is a good start but what we really need is to get the cops to enforce the laws already in place and not treat cyclist complaints as a joke.

Where I live most of the cops didn't even know the answer when I asked them about the age requirements for wearing a helmet or about taking the lane in traffic.

If the police don't even know these simple answers how can we expect regular drivers to know them?

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Aside from keeping the children safe by this project, it will surely make the children healthy by engaging in physical activities like walking and biking. It is a good grant for children. Keep it up.

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