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City of Colorado Springs / City Engineering / News

Two New Safe Routes to School projects under construction


City leveraging Federal grant funds to create safer routes for school children

 

The City of Colorado Springs has begun construction on two new grant-funded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects: one adjacent to Edison Elementary School in District 11 and the other in the Ridgeview at Stetson Hills neighborhood adjacent to Ridgeview Elementary School and Skyview Middle School in District 49. 

Edison Elementary Project
The project near Edison Elementary will replace the currently discontinuous sidewalk along N. Hancock Avenue with new curb, gutter and sidewalks and related drainage, driveway, and accessibility improvements to create a safer place for children to walk to school.  The City will also be replacing the existing school crossing traffic signal at 3rd Street and Hancock with a new mid-block Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon signal, the first one to be installed in the City. These signals, only recently approved by the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) are less expensive to construct and operate than traditional signals and have been shown to reduce pedestrian accidents by more than 50%. A comprehensive education program designed to help citizens understand how they work will coincide with the completion of construction and activation of the new signal, which is expected to take place in October. The project is being funded with a $104,160 federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) traffic signal maintenance funds.   

Ridgeview at Stetson Hills Neighborhood project

This project will include traffic calming and school crossing improvements on several streets in the neighborhood including Windom Peak Drive and Poudre Way.  The project was initiated by residents in the neighborhood concerned about speeding, cut-through traffic and the safety of students walking to and from the two schools in the neighborhood. City staff applied for federal SRTS grant funds and the City was awarded $102,375 for the project.  The City is also using a small amount of remaining funds from the now defunct neighborhood traffic calming program. Construction is expected to be complete in December 2010. 

 

The City of Colorado Springs has actively pursued SRTS funding since the inception of the program and has been awarded 11 SRTS grants totaling over $1.41 million. 

 

National Safe Routes to School Program

The National Safe Routes to School program was created in 2005 when Congress designated $612 million to help local communities create safety education programs and infrastructure solutions to build safer routes and to promote walking and biking to and from school.  The federal funds are dispersed to every state where the state departments of transportation administer the SRTS program.  The funds awarded to local communities and organizations provide 100% funding for the selected projects (no local match required). 

 

Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years while the number of children walking and biking to school has declined. According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey, less than 16 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walked or biked to or from school, compared to 42 percent in 1969.

 

Previous Safe Routes to School Grant Awards to the City of Colorado Springs:

SRTS 2006 Grant Funded Projects

  • Cresta Road Sidewalk Construction ? Phase 1 (D12) = $100,000 (construction completed in 2009)        
  • Carmel / Pepperwood Dr. School Crossing Improvement (D2) = $34,510 (construction completed March 2010)
  • Templeton Gap/Hancock Ave. School Crossing Improvement (D11) = $17,710 (constructed completed in May 2010)
  • Walk-and-Roll Pilot Education Program (all districts involved) = $34,315 (pilot project completed in 2008; materials developed under pilot being used with educational outreach activities to other schools)

SRTS 2007 Grant Funded Project

  • Cresta Road Sidewalk Construction ? Phase 2 (D12) = $184,984 (construction completed in 2009)

SRTS 2008 Grant Funded Projects

  • N. Hancock Ave. Sidewalk/School Crossing Improvements (D11) = $104,160 (project is now under construction as of August 2010)
  • Skyview/Ridgeview Traffic Calming/Crossing Improvements (D49) = $102,375 (project is now under construction as of August 2010)

SRTS 2009 Grant Funded Project

  • S. Circle Drive Sidewalk Construction (D2) = $242,364 (project currently in Design phase)
 SRTS 2010 Grant Funded Projects
  • S. Circle Drive Sidewalk Construction ? Phase 2 (D2) = $249,953 (project currently in Design phase)
  • Lincoln Elementary School Pedestrian Access Improvements Phase 1 (D11) = $249,980 (the City is currently contracting for the grant funds)
  • Signs 4 Life Mobile Classroom/Student Traffic Safety Education Program = $89,967 (the City is currently contracting for the grant funds in partnership with Drive Smart Colorado)
  

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