New Providence Awarded $462,000 Safe Routes to School Grant,

“Walking school buses” help make it easy and fun to get to school on foot or bike.

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Neighboring New Providence has received a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant of $462,000 for Various Sidewalk Improvements in New Providence.

This is the program that Township Council Vice President Jeanne Kingsley urged volunteers to come forward and support in a recent council meeting. New Providence began participating the SRTS about 10 years ago. 

This was one of $4.079 million dollars in SRTS 2016 grants awarded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) to municipalities in eight counties. Plainfield, which received a $304,000 grant was the only other municipality in Union County to receive a grant.

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“Safety is a key component of New Jersey’s transportation network, including pedestrian and bicycling accommodations,” NJDOT Commissioner Richard T. Hammer said. “These grants will help our local communities improve sidewalks and crosswalks so children may safely walk or bike to school.”

The SRTS program is a federally funded reimbursement program that was established in 2005 to increase pedestrian safety awareness among motorists and schoolchildren. It is being administered by the NJDOT in partnership with the NJTPA, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO). DVRPC and SJTPO grants totaling $2.1 million were announced in February.

Other projects to receive grants in the NJTPA region include, by county:  

Bergen County
·       Ridgewood Safe Routes to School in Ridgewood Village for $400,000
·       Bike and Pedestrian Safety Infrastructure Upgrades in Rutherford for $368,000

Hunterdon County
·       Safe Routes to School Harrison Street and Second Street in Frenchtown for $472,000

Middlesex County
·       Infrastructure and Intersection Improvements and ADA Compliance in Highland Park for $216,000

Morris County
·       Shunpike Road Sidewalk – Falmouth Road to Pine Street in Chatham for $374,000
·       Pedestrian/Bike Safety Improvements in Netcong for $243,000

Ocean County
·       Clayton Avenue Sidewalk Construction in Bay Head for $190,000

Somerset County
·       Veteran’s Memorial Drive East in Somerville for $670,000

Warren County
·       Safe Routes to School Improvements in Lopatcong for $380,000

The Safe Routes to School program was created to encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike to school. These grants will provide local governments within the DVRPC region the ability to make pedestrian safety improvements near K-8 schools.

The goal is to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and to implement projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

Infrastructure improvement projects to be funded through the program include the construction of sidewalks, bikeway lanes, and multi-use paths; and the installation of new crosswalks, school-zone markings, and speed-limit signs.

Each individual municipality is responsible for implementing their respective SRTS projects.

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