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Safe Routes to School Arlington, October 14, 2011MassDOT officials today joined students, parents, and city and school officials for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of access and safety improvements that will better enable children to walk or bicycle to Dallin Elementary School in Arlington. The project was built by MassDOT using federal Safe Routes to School Program funds.

Dallin Elementary School is a partner in the MassDOT Safe Routes to School Program, which includes more than 400 schools in over 120 communities and works with students, parents, school staff, and local police to promote walking and bicycling to school.  This program seeks to improve student health, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality.

The Dallin Elementary School project includes enhancements to slow vehicle traffic, improve street crossings, and upgrade sidewalks. Specific steps include new sidewalks with new curbing along Renfrew Street, George Street, as well as the building of a small section of sidewalk and road reconstruction along George Street at its intersection with Rhinecliff Street. Safe Routes to School funding has also financed new direct sidewalk connections and safer roadway crossings from nearby residential areas to the Dallin School, where previously no student crossways existed.

The Safe Routes to School program is also 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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