CHATHAM, NJ - The announcement on Tuesday that Chatham Township has received a $374,000 Safe Routes to School grant to install sidewalks on Shunpike Road is a tribute to Chatham's commitment to pedestrian safety, according to resident Amanda Feeman, co-chair of the SRTS Committee.
"By awarding Chatham Township a second sidewalk grant, the NJDOT has recognized Chatham’s commitment to pedestrian safety," Feeman said. "The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Chatham Township are committed to getting this sidewalk built expeditiously and we all recognize that the grant award is only meaningful if we can get the sidewalk built."
In 2015, Chatham Township received a $578,00 SRTS grant to install sidewalks on the east side of Lafayette Avenue, from Fairview Avenue to Watchung Avenue, and also to a section of Spring Street. Those sidewalks are still awaiting plan approval from the state.
Chatham Township previously completed sidewalk installation on the south side of Shunpike Road from Noe Avenue to Pine Street. The $374,000 grant will fill in the gap on Shunpike Road that does not have a sidewalk on the south side from Pine Street to Falmouth Road.
"Building a sidewalk along this stretch of roadway has been a priority in the Township for over four years and will significantly increase pedestrian safety along a major county roadway and make it possible for students who live along this stretch to safely walk to school," Feeman said. "The Safe Routes to School Committee works with the school administration and municipal officials to enhance pedestrian and bike safety."
SRTS co-chair Kathy Abbott also credited the volunteer mothers from the various schools who helped make the grant possible.
"Without their pedestrian education and encouragement activities, we would not have been able to apply for the grant," Abbott said of the volunteers. "This was an all-volunteer effort and we are grateful for our Safe Routes to School team."
The SRTS volunteers included Jen Mathews and Nancy Tagle of Southern Boulevard School; Jaime Troiano and Jennifer Shuck of Washington Avenue School; Emily Boggis and Myn Joo of Milton; Abbott, Monika Schaffer and Natalia Lacey of Lafayette and Doreen Kish and Gail Kology of the Chatham Middle School.