Sixty-three schools in Minnesota will benefit from $2.3 million in planning assistance and infrastructure grants that support the Safe Routes to School program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) announced. This includes grants provided to the city of Spring Grove, Dodge Center, Chatfield, La Crescent and Lake City Public Schools in Southeast Minnesota.
Safe Routes to School is an international program to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion around schools, increase physical activity and improve health by making it easier for students to walk and bicycle to school.
Planning assistance grants provide communities the resources to convene a team, understand key issues, prioritize strategies and identify solutions that fit the local need.
Infrastructure grants provide construction funding for projects that promote and encourage more students to walk or bicycle to school by making the routes safer and more accessible. Projects can include sidewalks, trails, crosswalk markings, flashing beacons and other traffic control devices.
“Thousands of Minnesota students will now have more opportunities to safely walk and bike to schools and improve their health,” said Mn/DOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “Thanks to the Safe Routes to School program we are helping to build the next generation of multi-modal transportation users.”
Mn/DOT announced the available planning assistance and infrastructure grants in October 2018. The infrastructure solicitation received $6.7 million in funding requests and 12 projects were awarded state funding for construction projects totaling $2 million. Regional partners will administer planning grants in their area and Mn/DOT will administer the construction grants.
The Safe Routes to School grants in this solicitation are funded with state and federal Safe Routes to School dollars. Historically, nearly 70 percent of these funds have supported work within Greater Minnesota communities.
Since 2005, Mn/DOT awarded more than $38 million in federal and state funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School. The majority of funding was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder was allocated for programs and planning that promote walkable and bikeable communities.
The list of grant recipients is below.
More information about Safe Routes to School including Bike to School Day and a map of SRTS projects, available at www.mndot.gov/saferoutes or the SRTS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaSafeRoutestoSchool/.
Safe Routes to School 2019 planning assistance awards:
• City of Dodge Center
• City of Chatfield
• City of Spring Grove
• City of La Crescent
• Lake City Public Schools
• City of Sauk Centre
• Gideon Pond Elementary School
• Lakeville Area Public Schools
• Rockford Area Schools
• City of Rush City
• St. Francis Area Schools
• Upper-Minnesota Regional Development Commission: MACCRAY
• Arrowhead Regional Development Commission: Sawtooth Mountain Clinic
• Region 9 Development Commission: Mankato Area Public Schools
• Northwest Regional Development Commission: Warren Alvaragdo Oslo School District
• Headwaters Regional Development Commission: Naytahwaush Charter School
• Mid-Minnesota Regional Development Commission: Atwater Groves Cosmos #2396
• Region 5 Development Commission: Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District