SALEM – Students all across Oregon will soon have safer ways to get to and from school, with the approval of $28.3 million in Safe Routes to School investments. Projects range from adding sidewalks around two elementary schools in Ontario to improving an intersection near Eastwood Elementary in Hillsboro, from adding a pedestrian island in Falls City to improving school zone signage at Powers Elementary in Powers. Altogether, 43 construction projects are receiving grants after the Oregon Transportation Commission approved the recommendations.
“Overall, there were 99 Safe Routes to School applications and they all addressed barriers to students walking and biking with needed safety improvements,” said LeeAnne Fergason, program manager. “The awarded funds will focus on Title I (low-income) schools and, of course, locations with the greatest safety needs.”
ODOT staff created an online map that gives an overview of the Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee recommended/OTC-approved projects.
In August 2020, ODOT received 99 applications from across the state for the SRTS Competitive Construction Grant Program, totaling $73 million in needed safety improvements. Read more. The Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee met on October 20 and using approved criteria, recommended a list of projects for the Safe Routes to School Construction Competitive Grant Program for the Oregon Transportation Commission’s consideration at its December 1 meeting. At its meeting Dec. 1, the OTC approved the recommended list. More information about the SRTS program is available on the website.
Funding for non-highway and multimodal projects is critical to maintaining a modern transportation system. Funds for this program come from Keep Oregon Moving, where newly funded programs like this one are supporting public transportation, making safety improvements and adding bicycle/pedestrian options all across the state.