TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Department of Transportation officials announced on May 31 the allotment of $19.6 million for 31 grants under the Safe Routes to School Program. This represents the largest amount ever awarded for the program.
“The Safe Routes to School program is a great example of how NJDOT, working with the state’s three regional planning authorities, helps our communities access federal funding for local transportation projects,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “These grants will provide resources to improve sidewalks and bike paths to encourage children to stay active by walking and biking to school.”
The SRTS is a federally-funded program to increase pedestrian safety among motorists and schoolchildren. The program was created to encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike to school. The goal is to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. Projects are designed to improve safety, as well as reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools.
The NJDOT, in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, will provide grants to five Essex County towns. Glen Ridge will receive $380,000 for a pedestrian crossing safety program; Livingston will receive $450,000 for work on Northfield and Hillside avenues; Maplewood will receive $488,000 to install of push-button signal at school route intersections; Millburn will receive $599,000 for sidewalk and pedestrian safety access improvements; and West Orange will receive $920,000 for a Safe Routes to School project.