Construction of this year’s first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project, replacing a gravel path with a block-long asphalt walkway at Olympic Hills Elementary School has started. This improvement and similar projects this summer at four additional schools will improve access and further the city’s goals of encouraging kids to walk to school.
SDOT is building the new walkway on the north side of NE 130th Place between 19th Avenue NE and 20th Avenue NE. Also, the crews will install concrete “landings” (street corners) on both sides of 20th Avenue NE where there is a marked crosswalk leading to the school. The landings will provide a safe location for students to stand while they are waiting to cross, and provide a better separation from traffic.
The second of five projects in 2010 will begin Monday, July 19 at B.F. Day Elementary School to repair the sidewalk next to the playground along Linden Avenue North. This project showcases a partnership between SDOT’s Safe Routes to School and the Sidewalk Safety Repair programs.
In addition to the improvements at Olympic Hills and D.F. Day schools, this summer projects will be completed at three other schools—Roxhill Elementary, Dearborn Park Elementary, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary. The Safe Routes to School program is funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative. The program works closely with school staff, students and parents to identify barriers and solutions to make walking and biking safer and more accessible.
Over the past three years, the Safe Routes to School Program has made improvements at 14 schools across the city. Those schools include Sacajawea Elementary, North Beach Elementary, Blaine K-8, Kimball Elementary, Concord Elementary, Broadview Thomson Elementary, Dunlap Elementary, Bailey Gatzert Elementary, Summit K-12 School, Northgate Elementary, Wing Luke Elementary and Arbor Heights Elementary. Over the life of the nine-year levy, SDOT anticipates making improvements at 30 schools across the city as part of the program.