February 12, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Safe Routes to School program gets half-million-dollar grant from state
(PORTLAND, Ore.) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced today that its Safe Routes to School program received a $495,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to keep children safe as they walk and bike to and from school. The funds will be used to build engineering improvements at seven elementary and K-8 schools.
“We are excited and proud to have been selected for this funding,” said Gabe Graff, Safe Routes to School program coordinator. “By bringing in this funding, Portland’s Safe Routes to School program will help make walking and biking a more realistic, safer option."
“When more students walk and bike to school, they benefit from daily exercise. Parents benefit in saved fuel costs. And we all benefit from less congestion and emissions in our neighborhoods,” Graff said.
Schools receiving improvements through this funding are Atkinson Elementary, Clarendon at Portsmouth K-8, Harvey Scott K-8, Humboldt K-8, Lent K-8, Mill Park Elementary, Rieke Elementary and Russell Academy. These schools joined the Safe Routes program in the 2007/2008 school year.
The funded projects were recommended and prioritized by Safe Routes school teams at each school. Made up of school staff, parents, concerned neighbors, and, on occasion, students, the school teams worked with an engineer from PBOT to identify safety challenges around their schools and prioritize improvements. This grant will fund improvements including pedestrian islands, curb ramps, speed bumps, street lighting, and raised crosswalks.
The Portland SR2S program currently serves 72 partner schools in the David Douglas, Parkrose, and Portland Public school districts. All three districts have schools benefiting from this grant.
This ODOT-administered grant is federally funded by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), signed into law on August 10, 2005.
To view ODOT’s press release, visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/docs/SafeRoutes/Ped_BikeNewsLetter0201.pdf.
The Portland Safe Routes to School program has been funded through PBOT’s Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership since 2004. For more information on the Portland SR2S program, visit www.saferoutesportland.org.