A number of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects have been initiated or completed in the Shenandoah Valley region over the past year, and with National Bike Month approaching in May, officials are stepping up efforts to showcase alternative transportation options through biking and walking.
Recent SRTS projects have been completed at Mountain View Elementary in Rockingham County and The Plains Elementary in Timberville. At Mountain View Elementary improvements included the addition of new sidewalk, curb & gutter, ADA curb cuts with associated crosswalks, signing and pavement markings, and the installation of pedestrian signals at the Erickson Avenue and Rawley Springs (Rt. 33) intersection. In Timberville, the improvements included 5-ft. concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements and a stream crossing along American Legion Drive. Other improvements included curb ramps, crosswalk pavement and sign installation, high visibility crosswalk markings and flashing school beacons installed at the school entrance.
“The improvements made at Mountain View Elementary in Rockingham County as part of the Safe Routes to School program have not only made it safer for the students to travel to school but are an added benefit to all the residents who live in the neighborhood,” said Kim Sandum, Director of Community Alliance for Preservation and local resident.
The City of Waynesboro has ongoing SRTS projects at five separate schools that will all be under construction this summer and ready for use when school opens up in the fall. These include infrastructure improvements at Kate Collins Middle School and at Wenonah, William Perry, Westwood, and Berkeley Glenn Elementary Schools. The variety of improvements that are planned for the schools include addition or improvement of sidewalks, new bike lanes, shared-use paths, and new or improved pedestrian crossings at adjacent streets.
Safe Routes to Schools is a federally-funded program administered by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) designed to encourage kindergarten through 8th grade students to walk or bike to school by creating safer, more appealing routes. SRTS also aims to reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission provides assistance for SRTS grant administration and project management. For more information on SRTS grants and programs visit the VDOT SRTS website.