In a January request for council action, the city of Irvine accepted a federal Safe Routes to School program grant in the amount of $500,000 to be allocated over three years as programs are implemented. The Safe Routes to School Bicycle/Walking Safety Education and Walking program will be implemented beginning FY2012-13. The funds will support community services and public safety staffing. Click here to read the entire report.
According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, research on the safety of children walking and bicycling to school began in 1970. The United States Congress funded two SRTS pilot programs in 1998. Marin County, California and Arlington, Massachusetts each received $50,000.
California has been apportioned $115,987,546 since 2005 by the federal SRTS Program according to the SAFETEA-LU. This total is more than any other state.
One hundred thirty-nine project applications were awarded from the 332 applications received throughout California. These federal funds are to be used only for educational materials, equipment to conduct walking and bicycle safety education workshops and various other community awareness events.
The programs started from this grant are estimated to impact nearly 26,000 children over a three-year period due to heightened awareness. Through interactive educational presentations, community bike rodeo events, walking/bicycle street skills classes the current City’s Walk to School Program is expected to increase from 7 to 14 schools.
This report was prepared by Corinne Schneider-Jones, Community Services Manager.