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bedford-safe-routes-to-school-october-30-2017The Baker-Polito Administration, MassDOT and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program officials, students, parents and local leaders came together in Bedford today to celebrate the completion of pedestrian access and safety improvements at the John Glenn Middle School.

The improvements created new infrastructure to support walking and bicycling to school.

“The Safe Routes to School Program has been highly successful in creating infrastructure which is more inviting to people who want the choice of walking or biking to their destinations,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “The Safe Route to Schools program and initiatives funded by the Baker-Polito  Administration such as ‘Complete Streets’ have made a difference in the quality of life in communities across the state because everyone benefits if there are more opportunities to bike and walk.  The projects built because of these programs mean that students, parents, school staff, and community members are getting outside more often, leaving their cars home more frequently which reduces emissions, and living a healthier lifestyle as they build exercise into their daily routines.”

The celebration today highlighted the infrastructure improvements near the Glenn School which have included sidewalk reconstruction along Great Road and Mudge Way, as well as construction of a multi-use path connecting the school to Railroad Avenue. Additionally, a rectangular rapid flash beacon, and curb line modifications were installed to improve safety at a pedestrian crossing on Great Road. ADA accessible ramps, roadway signage, and bike lane markings were also part of the project.

“The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program works with elementary and middle schools throughout the Commonwealth to educate and encourage students to walk or bike to school safely,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Safety is our number one priority with these improvements, which allow for even more students and families to enjoy the benefits of walking and biking to school in a safe manner.”

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 780 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.

The Baker-Polito Administration has spent over $2.8 billion since 2015 on highway construction projects and bridges, pavement, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes, and over $700 million in Chapter 90 local transportation funding for cities and towns. In addition, $16 million has also been awarded through the Administration’s Small Bridge Program, which was announced in 2016, and allows municipalities to repair or replace their small bridges which are not eligible for federal funding. The Baker-Polito Administration has also awarded a total of approximately $17.7 million in Complete Streets Funding Awards which allow cities and towns to make road, sidewalks, and bicycle infrastructure upgrades. Statewide, those investments have paved approximately 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times; installed 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir; and rehabilitated or replaced approximately 80 bridges.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program.

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