New Century Transportation
During this week, thousands of Safe Routes to School parent questionnaires will be distributed to 11 schools in the Roaring Fork and Aspen school districts.
These parent surveys have been designed to identify ideas for both educational (student, parent, and community education, etc.) and physical improvements (sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic signals, etc.) in order to provide safer walking and biking conditions for students.
It is vital that parents complete these surveys and return them to their school’s administrative office by Jan. 13. Information obtained from these surveys will be used in the state and federal Safe Routes to School grant process.
The recently-passed SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization legislation includes this new, national Safe Routes to School program, which enables and encourages primary and secondary school children to walk and bicycle to school. Both infrastructure-related and behavioral projects will be geared toward providing a safe, appealing environment for walking and biking that will improve the quality of children’s lives and support national health objectives by reducing traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
The legislation makes available several million dollars in federal funds over five fiscal years. Each state will receive a portion of the funds based on its percentage of the national total of school-aged children in grades K-8, but not less than $1 million each year.
The Colorado DOT is currently in the process of developing its Safe Routes program. In the months ahead, more information will be provided including project applications, funding criteria and timeline for the communities of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen.
Meanwhile, the New Century Transportation Foundation has undertaken the task of consolidating requests from the Roaring Fork Valley schools. The intent is to consolidate the requests and make appropriate requests for funding; NCTF needs input from parents of the Roaring Fork and Aspen school districts.
Remember, children are not small adults. They often act before thinking and may not do what parents or drivers expect. They assume that if they see the driver, the driver sees them. They have one-third narrower side vision, can’t judge speed and are less able to determine the direction of sounds. They are shorter than adults and can’t see over cars, bushes and other objects.
Please feel free to contact the foundation with any questions or concerns about this program and survey at New Century Transportation Foundation, Regional Safe Routes to School Program, P.O. Box 428, Carbondale, CO 81623. The fax number is (970) 704-9201 or e-mail Cathy Tuttle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 274-1875.
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Kuhlenberg for school board