Saint Paul leaders celebrate grant funding for Safe Routes to Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2017

CONTACT: Joe Ellickson
Joe.Ellickson@ci.stpaul.mn.us
651-266-6129 (o)
651-724-8443 (c)

Saint Paul leaders celebrate grant funding for Safe Routes to Schools

City leaders celebrate with kids, teachers, parents and police for Saint Paul’s Bike/Walk to School Day

SAINT PAUL – The City of Saint Paul received funding for planning and creating safer pathways for kids to get to school.  Over $1.3 Million in federal dollars granted by the Met Council’s Regional Solicitation process will fill in sidewalk gaps in the North End (Washington Technology Magnet School), and in the Randolph-Hamline neighborhood (Expo Elementary). The MNDOT Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program has provided planning grants that are developing school-specific SRTS plans for Chelsea Heights, Bruce Vento, and Farnsworth Upper schools, as well as a Citywide Safe Routes to School Policy Plan.

City leaders – including Council Member Amy Brendmoen and Council Member Chris Tolbert - celebrated receiving the new funding by attending Saint Paul’s Bike/Walk to School Day at Expo Elementary School and Washington Technology Magnet School. At these locations, students, city leaders, parents, and police came together to encourage kids to Bike/Walk to school, and increase awareness for pedestrian safety – specifically in school zones.  

“Walking and biking to school is a rite of passage for kids,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “Today, we are helping them do so safely by developing a Safe Routes to School program in Saint Paul. By investing significant resources to improve pedestrian safety across the entire city, we are making Saint Paul more walkable, bikeable, and sustainable, for generations to come.”

“Creating Safe Routes to School so kids can bike and walk to school is a key public health strategy for getting kids more active – and better health outcomes.”, said Anne Barry, Director of Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health. 

“We know the outcome Safe Routes to Schools programs have over time,” stated Council President Russ Stark.  “--more physically active and healthy children, increased pedestrian safety, less traffic congestion and better air quality around schools, and increased connections between families, schools, and our community.”

About Saint Paul’s Bike/Walk to School Day

Saint Paul’s Bike/Walk to School Day emphasizes the importance of increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.

About Safe Routes to School (SRTS)

Safe Routes to School is a nationwide program with the mission to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children to bicycle and walk to school. When routes are safe, walking or biking to and from school is an easy way to get the regular physical activity children need for good health. Safe Routes to School initiatives also help ease traffic jams and air pollution, unite neighborhoods, and contribute to students’ readiness to learn in school.

The mission of Safe Routes to School is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to improve the health and wellbeing of kids of all races, income levels and abilities and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone.

Saint Paul’s Safe Routes to School coalition includes the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County Public Works, Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, Saint Paul Public Schools and many pedestrian safety advocacy groups. Funding for SRTS in Ramsey County is also provided by grants through the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). For more information visit www.stpaul.gov/SafeRoutesToSchool

 

##