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Charlottesville wants your feedback on Safe Routes to School Program

(FILE)
(FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville wants to hear your feedback before it submits a grant proposal that would expand a biking-to-school initiative.

“The Safe Routes to School Program has been funded through VDOT for the past five years. I would say it is intended to really encourage and provide educational opportunities in school about safe walking and biking, as well as encouragement activities that get people excited about walking and biking to school,” Charlottesville Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Amanda Poncy said.

This $200,000 grant would provide bicycles and helmets to Charlottesville students in kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as some private schools.

“It also provides a full-time coordinator who helps work with all the schools, the PTOs, the parents, the school administration to make it part of the school curriculum. It would be for two years for that salary and associated programming.” Poncy said.

Poncy says before the application is submitted, you can offer any ideas you may have at a virtual meeting Thursday, September 2.

“Having safe routes and more information that allows parents to feel comfortable walking with their children to school is really important, especially now as bus transportation has become much more limited and we’re dealing with a lot more traffic congestion and things like that around schools,” Poncy said.

If this funding is approved, the Safe Routes to School Program would begin in June of 2022.

Charlottesville, through the Department of Parks and Recreation, is also applying for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funding through VDOT for design and construction of a stone-dust surfaced shared use path system and bike/pedestrian bridge across Meadow Creek near the Virginia Institute for Autism on Greenbrier Drive as part of the approved Meadow Creek Valley Park and Trail plan.

Here is a link to the virtual meeting. If you’re unable to attend that meeting on Thursday, you can email Amanda Poncy at poncy@charlottesville.gov with your comments.

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