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Safe Routes to School, Lexington, October 11, 2011 MassDOT joined students, parents, and city and school officials today at Lexington's Bowman Elementary School for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of access and safety improvements as part of the Safe Routes to School Program that will better enable children to walk or bicycle to school.

Bowman Elementary School is one of more than 400 schools in over 120 communities partnering with MassDOT's Safe Route to School Program to work with students, parents, school staff, and local police to promote walking and bicycling to school, thereby improving student health, traffic congestion, and air quality. Schools that partner with MassDOT are eligible for federal funding to build infrastructure projects specifically targeted at helping children get to school safely and conveniently.

The Bowman Elementary School project includes steps to slow vehicle traffic, manage street crossings, and improve sidewalk conditions. Specific enhancements include new sidewalks and curbing along Philip Road, Lantern Lane, Dawes Road, Buckman Drive, and Pleasant Street. A half-mile of new sidewalks have been built and are now open for public use.

MassDOT's on-call team of school engineers, planners, and bicycle/pedestrian experts plan, design, and build targeted infrastructure improvements that enhance access to elementary and middle schools, analyzing current travel patterns and conditions and safety problems in working with school officials, parents, and community leaders to design and construct enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access to schools.

The Safe Routes to School program is a key component of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic transportation reform that promotes collaboration between the departments of transportation and public health.

Safe Routes to School is federally-funded and administered by the MassRIDES travel options program on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. To find out how your school can participate, contact Rebecca Cyr at rebecca.cyr@state.ma.us or visit www.mass.gov/massdot/saferoutes.

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