Oswayo Valley Seeks ‘Safe Routes To School’ Grant

From Potter County Today

saferoutesschoolOswayo Valley School District still hopes to qualify for federal funds to support walking and bicycling to school, after coming so close two years ago. The district’s application for support through the Federal Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) Program is back before a screening panel from among all requests in McKean, Cameron, Clearfield, Potter, Jefferson and Elk counties.

Six other projects are competing with Oswayo Valley’s application, seeking total funding of $3.8 million. Some $1.7 million is available in the region, according to Tom Buck, transportation planning coordinator for Northcentral Pa. Regional Planning and Development Commission. Oswayo Valley seeks $467,000 to develop safe routes for students who walk or ride bicycles to school.

The federal government began SRTS in response to a study showing that just 15 percent of students walk or ride bikes to school, compared to 50 percent in 1970. This has had an adverse effect on traffic congestion and air quality, as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety. In addition, a growing body of evidence has shown that children who lead sedentary lifestyles are at risk for a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Safety issues are a big concern for parents, who consistently cite traffic danger as a reason why their children do not bicycle or walk to school. SRTS empowers communities to make walking and bicycling to school a routine activity by creating safer routes and street crossings and establishing other programs with safety and convenience as their cornerstones.

Read original

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Leave a Comment