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Mansfield Safe Routes to School Ribbon cutting, October 5, 2016MassDOT today joined students, parents and local leaders to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield.

The improvements, constructed by MassDOT with funds from the Federal Highway Administration and support through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program created new infrastructure to support walking and bicycling for not only today’s children, but for future generations.

“The infrastructure improvements to communities who qualify for them is a great way in which MassDOT and its Safe Routes to School Program are able to foster opportunities for students, parents, school staff, and community members to make healthier transportation choices,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The enhancements to the roadways around the school highlight the importance we place upon not only active, but safe transportation for our students and students to come.”

The constructed pedestrian and bicycle safety and access improvements included both reconstructed sidewalks along both sides of East Street, as well as new five foot bike lanes. Additionally, ADA compliant ramps were installed at crossings at the school and mid-block. The project also realigned the Park Street and East Street intersection to provide traffic calming and a shorter crossing distance for pedestrians.

Since partnering with the Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School staff and parents have collaborated with MassDOT to address neighborhood safety-related barriers for students who want to walk or bicycle to school. The program has been providing pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction as well as engagement initiatives tailored to meet the needs of the school’s health, safety and environmental priorities.

“The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program works with elementary and middle schools across the Commonwealth to educate students on the principles of safe walking and bicycling behaviors,” said Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Director Diane Hanson. “This program is dedicated to making sure students and parents have the appropriate safety tools to get them to and from school in an active, healthy, and fun way.”

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program is sponsored by MassDOT with funds from the Federal Highway Administration. The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School model of inclusiveness emphasizes a collaborative, community-focused approach that fosters mutual partnerships between advocacy groups, law enforcement, education leaders and public health departments that all work together to promote safer routes for children to get to school. Participating schools may also qualify for financial support for improvements to sidewalks and other infrastructure surrounding the schools. The program serves over 700 elementary and middle schools in 200 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 health, safety, and environmental priorities.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program.

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