Rye Receives Sizable Safe Routes Grant

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced last week that Rye was one of 64 communities to receive a grant for its Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program. Rye’s award totaled $223,952.

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Published January 9, 2013 9:30 PM
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streetNew York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced last week that Rye was one of 64 communities to receive a grant for its Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program. Rye’s award totaled $223,952.

 

By Bill Lawyer

 

streetNew York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced last week that Rye was one of 64 communities to receive a grant for its Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program. Rye’s award totaled $223,952.

 

Rye YMCA staff members Lisa Urban and Denise Woodin prepared the grant proposal. They requested funds to enhance the City’s pedestrian infrastructure, selecting street crossings and sidewalks that would make the biggest safety improvement.

 

Crucial to receiving the award was a survey of Rye parents as to the need for improvements to make walking or biking to school feasible. Thirty percent of all parents participated, and some 230 comments — often very passionately expressed — were posted in the survey results.

 

The selection and design of specific projects was prepared by City Planner Christian Miller and City Engineer Ryan Coyne. According to the grant timetable, the projects will be completed by the end of July.

 

The Rye City Council is expected to pass a resolution accepting the award at its January 9 meeting. The Council and City Manager Scott Pickup extended thanks to Y Executive Director Gregg Howells and his staff for their success.

 

Howells noted that, “Safe Routes To School is one of the cornerstones of the Y’s Healthier Communities work.”

 

Nearly $80,000 will go toward installing Pedestrian Activated Flash Beacons at four intersections (Boston Post/Old Post roads, Hewlett/Forest, Apawamis/Forest, and Forest/Eve Lane); $69,507 toward improving the crossing conditions at the Theall/Osborn and Grace Church/Midland intersections; and $75,325 for sidewalk improvements on Hewlett Avenue adjacent to Milton School.

 

City Manager Pickup noted the application was supported by school and elected officials, local non-profits, civic organizations, and city agency heads. “We’re fortunate to live in a community that cares deeply about pedestrian safety.”

 

To be eligible, projects had to be located within two miles of a primary or middle school, be located on public right-of-way, benefit the public interest, and address at least one of the five SRTS categories.

 

The three goals of SRTS are: to enable and encourage children to walk or bicycle to school; help children adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle by making bicycling and walking a safer and more appealing transportation alternative; and, improve safety while reducing traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

 

Federal funding was made available to NYSDOT, which administers the SRTS program and will reimburse 100 percent of eligible costs for Rye’s project.

 

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