Fall has arrived as have shorter days and more kids walking to school!

Before construction of a new curb and planting strip along S Columbian Way by Mercer Middle school.

A crowded bus loading zone before construction of a new curb and planting strip along S Columbian Way near Mercer Middle school.

Now that fall has officially arrived you are probably seeing more kids walking to and from school. Thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation initiative passed by Seattle voters in 2006, more than 30 elementary schools around Seattle have gained new and improved walking routes through the Safe Routes to School Program. This program works closely with school staff, students and parents to identify barriers and solutions to make walking and biking safer and more accessible.

This year eight schools implemented safety education, and SDOT installed safety improvements by the facililties and on  the walking routes  to the schools .

Workers putting finishing touches on newly constructed curb and planting strip along S Columbian Way.

Workers putting finishing touches on newly constructed curb and planting strip along S Columbian Way.

In 2013, projects were completed at Aki Kurose Middle School, Concord Elementary, Hamilton Middle School, Hawthorne Middle School, Leschi Elementary, McGilvra Elementary, Mercer Middle School and Viewlands Elementary.  Safety improvements included the installation of curb ramps, ADA ramps, newly marked crosswalks, sidewalk repairs, new street trees, new radar signs and speed cushions.

Over the first six years of the program Sanislo Elementary, Dearborn Park Elementary, Bailey Gatzert Elementary, Concord Elementary, Northgate Elementary, Kimball Elementary and Cleveland High schools were recipients of funding from the program.   For more information on the Safe Routes to School please visit the program web site.

For more information on BTG please go to the levy web site.