In an effort to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school, the California Transportation Committee (CTC), has awarded Tulare County $2.8 million in grants for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure improvement projects. More than 600 projects from across the state of California were submitted with 90 being selected for funding, including two in Tulare County.
“Our county is committed to providing children with safe routes to school and these funds will enable us to begin work on projects guaranteed to make a difference in the everyday lives of residents in two of our most disadvantaged communities,” said Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors Steve Worthley. “We are thrilled that the CTC saw sufficient value in our projects to provide the necessary funding to make these infrastructure improvements possible.”
With approval from the Board of Supervisors, the Tulare County Resource Management Agency submitted grant applications in May, 2015 for eight projects under the Cal Trans Active Transportation Program (ATP) to construct SRTS safety improvements in the communities of Alpaugh, Matheny Tract, Earlimart, Goshen, Pixley, Traver, Lemon Cove, Richgrove, Terra Bella, and Woodville; totaling approximately $12 million in grant funds. Two of the eight projects submitted were selected for funding for a total grant award of $2,808,000.
County projects receiving funding are:
- Traver Jacob Street Improvements Project- $1,790,000- Approx. 2,100 LF of 8ft wide concrete sidewalk with curb and gutter on south side of the Jacob St. curb & gutter, asphalt pave outs, bike lane, drainage facilities, ADA Ramps, signs and markings will also be installed.
- Pixley Main Street Improvements Project- $1,018,000 Approx. 2,700 LF of 5ft to 8ft wide concrete sidewalk with curb and gutter on both sides of the Main St. curb & gutter, asphalt pave outs, bike lane, drainage facilities, ADA Ramps, signs and markings will also be installed.
“The need for safe routes in our disadvantaged communities is most certainly there, evidenced by the fact that our county was chosen as a grant awardee out of more than 600 applicants,” said District Two Supervisor Pete Vander Poel. “Improved infrastructure is needed in our communities and I look forward to the enhanced quality of life our residents will experience as a result of these newly funded projects.”
For SRTS funding consideration, projects must directly increase safety and convenience for students of public schools, or in the vicinity of a public school bus stop, to walk and/or bike to school. The purpose of the ATP is to encourage increased use of active modes of transportation by achieving the following goals:
- Increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking,
- Increase safety and mobility for non-motorized users,
- Advance the active transportation efforts of regional agencies to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals,
- Enhance public health,
- Ensure that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program, and
- Provide a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users.
For more information on the Active Transportation Program, please visit Cal Trans at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LocalPrograms/atp/