WEST ORANGE, NJ — Following on the heels of Kelly Elementary School, Liberty Middle School and West Orange Township, Redwood and Washington elementary schools have received gold and bronze recognition, respectively, from the Safe Routes to School program. The recognition is given in partnership with transportation management agency EZ Ride and in cooperation with West Orange Township.
According to the Safe Streets for Schools website, “Safe Routes to School is a movement that aims to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. The first federally funded Safe Routes to School program was created in 2005, and has since undergone several legislative and policy transformations. In 2012, Congress created the Transportation Alternatives Program by merging together three previous programs that funded active transportation. In 2015, Congress authorized TAP for an additional five years, through 2020.
“At the local level, Safe Routes to School practitioners run education and encouragement programs with families and schools and push for strong municipal and district policies to support safe walking and bicycling. The most successful Safe Routes to School programs incorporate the Six E’s: evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement and equity. At the regional and state level, Safe Routes to School practitioners work to find new funding and ensure proper spending of existing funding for Safe Routes to School. And at the federal level, the Safe Routes Partnership and its allies maintain a steady voice for policy and funding support in Washington and provide a source of expert help, ideas and resources for leaders at all levels.”
“Following the Walking Safety Assessment conducted in May 2019, Redwood Elementary has received a gold-level NJ Safe Routes to School Recognition Award,” Redwood Principal Tim Beaumont said. “Our fellow West Orange school, Washington Elementary, also won a bronze-level award. Many congratulations to Principal Marie DeMaio and her team. These recognitions are valid for three years and acknowledge the work that we have done in partnership with the township of West Orange to ensure that routes to our schools are safe for students, families and staff.”
Superintendent of Schools Scott Cascone added: “This is great news! Congratulations to these two outstanding schools and staff and our amazing partners in the township.”