New Jersey Department of Transportation officials announced 31 grants May 31 for the largest amount ever awarded under the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS), $19.6 million.
The federally funded program was created to encourage children to walk and bike to school while increasing pedestrian-safety among motorists and schoolchildren. SRTS is administered by NJDOT in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO).
“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,” said NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “These grants will provide resources to improve sidewalks and bike paths to encourage children to stay active by walking and biking to school.”
The projects are designed to improve safety, along with reducing traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools.
Of the 31 grants being awarded to local governments to make pedestrian safety improvements near K-8 schools, 22 grants totaling $13.8 million are within the NJTPA region, which includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties. Seven grants totaling $4 million are within the DVRPC region, which includes Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey and five counties in Pennsylvania. The final two grants — totaling $1.7 million — are within the SJTPO region, which includes Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties.
Types of infrastructure projects funded through the program include sidewalk construction; pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements; on-street bicycle facilities; and the installation of new crosswalks, school-zone markings and speed-limit signs.
Each municipality is responsible for implementing their respective project.
A full list of the grant awardees is available here.