BOSTON–Tuesday, November 5, 2013—Today, the Patrick Administration joined students, parents and local leaders to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements at Swampscott’s Stanley Elementary School.
The improvements, constructed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) with funds from the Federal Highway Administration and support through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program, created new infrastructure to support walking and bicycling for today’s children and for future generations.
“MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program is a critical part of our commitment to healthy and sustainable transportation options, resulting in healthier students, happier parents and safer roads for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.
The $250,000 investment in Swampscott featured the construction of sidewalks to provide a continuous connection to the school, along with multiple intersection improvements that include curbing modifications to reduce pedestrian crossings and provide traffic calming. New pavement markings and warning and regulatory signs were installed to improve safety throughout the school zone. Traffic has also been converted to a one-way flow during school hours.
“We are very excited about these improvements which allow for children to walk and bike safely to school,” said Stanley School Principal, Tom Daniels. “Walking and biking to school are a great way for students to also learn about their local neighborhoods and to share this information with their fellow classmates.”
Since partnering with the Safe Routes to School Program in 2007, Stanley Elementary staff and parents have collaborated with MassDOT to address neighborhood safety barriers for students who are able to walk or bicycle to school. School partners receive year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction as well as engagement initiatives tailored to meet each school’s health, safety and environmental priorities.
“Improving the safety of the walking areas near the schools helps encourage children to walk to school as a healthy means of physical activity,” said Erin Reed, statewide coordinator for the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program. “Safe Routes to School seeks to also reduce traffic congestion and air pollution which leads to an improvement of the overall environment.”
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program is sponsored by MassDOT with funds from the Federal Highway Administration. The Safe Routes to School model of inclusiveness emphasizes a collaborative, community-focused approach that fosters mutual partnerships between advocacy groups, law enforcement, education leaders and public health departments that all work together to promote safer routes for children to get to school. Participating schools may also qualify for financial support for improvements to sidewalks and other infrastructure surrounding the schools. The program serves over 630 elementary and middle schools in over 170 communities throughout the Commonwealth. School partners receive year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction as well as engagement initiatives tailored to meet each school’s health, safety and environmental priorities.
To find out more, contact Rebecca Cyr at 857-368-8657 or Rebecca.Cyr@state.ma.us or visit www.Mass.gov/MassDOT/SafeRoutes. Connect with us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SafeRoutes.MA and follow us on twitter www.twitter.com/SafeRoutes_MA.
For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.