Several Hudson Valley communities have received more than $1 million in federal “Safe Routes to School” funding to make infrastructure improvements and hold public education campaigns to encourage children to safely walk and bike to school, state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced yesterday. They are Rye City, Briarcliff Manor, Dobbs Ferry, Sleepy Hollow and Nyack.
The federal government is providing a total of $26.5 million for 64 projects across New York. Eligible projects have to be within two miles of a primary or middle school, be located on a public right-of-way, benefit the public interest and address at least one of five categories — engineering (infrastructure) efforts, education, enforcement, encouragement and evaluation of program impact (non-infrastructure) efforts, said McDonald, whose agency administers the program.
Examples of projects the funds can be used for include installation of traffic signals or crosswalks, construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks, and measures to reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
“The projects supported by this round of federal funding will help children get to school safely by providing features such as sidewalks, multi-use paths, crosswalks and pedestrian signals near schools,” she said in a statement. “The education component of the program can help families make healthy, sustainable transportation choices and teach kids how to safely use the infrastructure in their communities.”
Here are details of the local projects:
— City of Rye: $223,952 for pedestrian improvements in the Rye City School District.
— Village of Briarcliff Manor: $500,000 for pedestrian improvements and safety education in the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District.
— Village of Dobbs Ferry: $118,000 for safety education at the Dobbs Ferry Elementary and Middle schools.
— Village of Sleepy Hollow: $219,950 for pedestrian improvements and safety education in the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.
— Nyack Union Free School District: $33,781 for pedestrian improvements and safety education in the Nyack Central School District.