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Safe Routes to School, Lowell, November 30, 2012MassDOT joined City of Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, Senator Eileen Donohue, Representative Thomas Golden, students, parents and school officials today for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements surrounding the McAuliffe Elementary campus. The project was made possible by MassDOT using federal Safe Routes to School program funds.

“MassDOT continues to be a national leader in building a transportation system that is sustainable, greener and healthier, setting a goal to triple the share of walking and bicycle travel,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “Providing federal infrastructure funding through the Safe Routes to School program enables families to walk and bicycle together and will assist MassDOT in accomplishing our mode shift objectives.” 

McAuliffe Elementary is a School Partner in MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, which serves over 500 elementary and middle schools in 160 communities throughout the Commonwealth. School Partners receive year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction as well as engagement initiatives tailored to meet each school’s physical fitness, safety and environmental priorities.

Since joining Safe Routes to School in 2008, McAuliffe teachers and parents have collaborated with MassDOT to address neighborhood safety barriers for students who must walk or bicycle to school. Additionally, Safe Routes to School has been an integral component of anti-idling campaigns to limit the concentration of emissions and pollution in the environment surrounding the school. MassDOT’s completed infrastructure will not only benefit children who attend the McAuliffe School, but also students at the adjacent Robinson Middle School.

Project highlights include: 1400 feet of new sidewalk along the entrance and exit driveways of the McAuliffe School, five foot wide bike lanes at the entrance and exit driveway, new ADA accessible wheelchair ramps, pavement markings, new traffic and pedestrian warning signs, as well as minor drainage modifications.

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