New Sidewalks, Safe Routes to School

Thanh -- November 14th, 2008

Last week, a newsletter/flyer was mailed to residents living along South Avenue and sections of Maryland Avenue and Central Avenue informing them of new sidewalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and other improvements coming to their neighborhood.

In March 2008, the City of Harrisonburg in partnership with Keister Elementary School, the Safe Routes to School Task Force, Safe Kids of the Central Shenandoah Valley, and members of the community was awarded a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve safety in neighborhoods around Keister Elementary School.

We have received $455,330 for the design and construction of new sidewalks where none existed before.

A copy of the flyer/newsletter can be read here: Our New Neighborhood Project: Safe Routes to School (pdf). It also includes a map of the area, additional information about Keister Elementary’s Walking Friday’s and information on the $40,000 grant they received from the US Department of Agriculture to provide students with a fresh fruit or vegetable as an afternoon snack on Fridays as part of an effort to associate good exercise with healthful snacks.

On a related note: Currently, Principal Linda McCormick, parents, Safe Kids of the Central Shenandoah Valley staff, and City staff are working on the next year’s Safe Routes to School application for Waterman Elementary School. Interested Waterman Elementary School parents should contact Principal McCormick directly.

2 Responses to “New Sidewalks, Safe Routes to School”

  1. I’m really glad for this. I read recently about a “walking school bus” effort somewhere in the country where teacher and parent volunteers walk a route to and from school, with students joining them along the way so that their walk is supervised and more social. We can more than make up for the cost of sidewalks if we reduce the use of school busses through increased walking and biking.

  2. Thanh says:

    The “walking school bus” is a great idea. Keister Elementary school has several of them, and Waterman Elementary school folks are discussing how they can help parents organize some there. I would suggest that parents who are interseted in participating in a “walking school bus” contact their school principals. Oftentimes the principals, who surprisingly know just about every, if not every child by name, can help put interested parents in touch with each other.

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