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Friday, January 7, 2011

Oswayo Valley Seeks ‘Safe Routes To School’ Grant

Oswayo Valley Seeks ‘Safe Routes To School’ Grant

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.


7 comments :

Anonymous said...

wow...so much money to give away;;;can't believe I made it to school walking years ago.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to inform the grant givers that no amount of money would make me feel like it was safe enough to let my elementary aged children walk to school unless we lived next door to the school building. We live in a dark world, I'm afraid. We can't watch them every minute but we can take as many precautions as possible.

Also, I don't think that walking/riding one's bike to school is a very accurate depictor of the activity level in one's life. My children are incredibly active and ride the bus...

While a grant would probably make it nicer for the kids who already do walk, I doubt you're going to convince more parents to allow their children to walk based solely upon the benefits gained from the grant. Seems like if the aim is to encourage children to be active, the money would be spent better elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

OMG...why oh why do people always have to bash EVERYTHING that is posted on here? Heaven forbid the school actually did something to make the community nicer for EVERYONE. Students would not be the only ones benefiting from this project! You just can't please everyone. If the school didn't attempt this project they would be bashed for having no safe way for walkers to get to school....sound like it's a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" in this world!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I agree with poster 4:55...there is no way that I would let my children walk to school either. There is no supervision of any type after school, no teahers, no crossing gaurds, NO COPS!!!! Too much can happen in too short a time. I definately agree that the money could be put to better use, like say some extra baseball and softball fields that the shool already has the money for. Think that perhaps the school should get the parents take on things like this before they go and try to get money for something that isnt going to make sense in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Bull.
You pamper your kids.
They come to expect they're entitled to a "ride to school."
Bull.

Anonymous said...

Did something happen to the sidewalks in Shinglehouse?

Anonymous said...

As a Center City Shinglehouse resident and parent of an elementary student, this is
Unbelievable!! Almost a half million dollars for safe routes? In Shinglehouse? Are you people nuts? A police escort for each kid that lives within walking distance wouldn't cost $467,000.00. Freaking mind boggling. How about this, for that kind of money I'll buy a bullet proof limo and transport each kid to and from school. That way all the little tikes can continue to play with their Ipods, DS's or any other mind numbing electronic seregate babysitters without having to actually move any body parts other then their thumbs. Hey,for an extra $250,000.00 how about I carry them from their beds to the limo and from the limo to their homeroom?
That money should go to a new track and field complex or a soccer program or intramural sports programs. But safe routes? This a great example of the reason why we have the couch potatoes we do. God forbid these little flowers have to pay attention to traffic. It's pretty simple, CROSS THE STREET WHEN NOTHINGS COMING.