Post Content

Westwood Safe Routes to School, November 20, 2015MassDOT today joined students, parents and local leaders to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements at the Downey Elementary School in Westwood.

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.

“MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program is an integral component of our statewide initiatives to foster healthier and more active communities by encouraging students to safely walk and bike to school,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “By providing infrastructure improvements to school communities who qualify, we are able to nurture more opportunities for students, parents, school staff, and the local community to make healthier transportation choices.”

The constructed pedestrian and bicycle safety and access improvements included both new and reconstructed sidewalks along Forbes Road to an existing path to the school, as well as new sidewalks along Downey Street. Additionally, the crossing at Smith Drive was relocated to the school’s front entrance to improve visibility, and to locate it within the marked school zone, which now has a flashing warning assembly. Improvements also included pavement markings for new crossings and bicycle accommodations, signs, ADA compliant wheelchair ramps, and drainage enhancements.

Since partnering with the Safe Routes to School Program in 2007, Downey staff and parents have collaborated with MassDOT to address neighborhood safety-related barriers for students who want to walk or bicycle to school. 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.

“The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program works with elementary and middle schools throughout the Commonwealth to teach the principles of safe walking and bicycling behaviors so that students and parents have the appropriate safety tools to get to school in a fun, active, and healthy way,” said Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program Director Kristin Slaton. “The infrastructure improvements can now allow for even more families to walk and bike to school.”

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 190 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.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Baker-Polito Administration, Federal & Local Officials Celebrate Improvements at Springfield’s Union Station posted on Jan 24

Baker-Polito Administration, Federal & Local Officials Celebrate Improvements at Springfield’s Union Station

Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, MassDOT officials, legislators and other local officials today celebrated recently-completed improvements at Springfield’s Historic Union Station to Platform C. The $10 million project built a fully ADA-accessible 328-foot long high-level platform accessing two tracks, and   …Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration, Federal & Local Officials Celebrate Improvements at Springfield’s Union Station

Baker-Polito Administration Files for $200 Million in Chapter 90 Local Transportation Funding posted on Jan 24

Baker-Polito Administration Files for $200 Million in Chapter 90 Local Transportation Funding

The Baker-Polito Administration today filed an “An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges,” which seeks $200 million in Chapter 90 funds to support local transportation infrastructure projects in all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement at   …Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration Files for $200 Million in Chapter 90 Local Transportation Funding

MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance: Tips for Night Time Driving posted on Jan 21

MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance: Tips for Night Time Driving

Winter driving is not only challenging due to icy and snowy conditions. It is also dark for more hours of the day than it is light. With up to nearly 15 hours per day in darkness, it’s dark during part of the morning and evening   …Continue Reading MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance: Tips for Night Time Driving