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Safe Routes to Schools Awards May 2019MassDOT, through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, celebrated the successes of SRTS partner schools and community champions at a ceremony today at the Massachusetts State House. Award recipients were recognized for their efforts in fostering programs for students to safely walk and bike to school.

“Current and future generations face a massive climate change challenge, as greenhouse gas coming from transportation makes up the majority of all GHG emissions,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.” The Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth found that 10-14 percent of morning rush hour emissions come from parents dropping off their children at schools. The Safe Routes to School program not only increases safety and accessibility for students and their families, but also provides environmental benefits by encouraging walking, biking, and other active forms of transportation.”

A program of MassDOT, the statewide SRTS Program promotes annual flagship events such as Massachusetts Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day and International Walk to School Day. Along with celebrating these event days, SRTS offers pedestrian and bicycle training activities, walk and bike assessments of the existing infrastructure, and arrival/dismissal observations at schools. SRTS reaches out to schools and their local communities to help customize safety-focused activities, provide resources to help facilitate safe student travel, and offer one-on-one assistance for each school’s specific needs.

“Giving schools and communities the necessary tools to create safer routes and encourage their students to implement active transportation has always been our goal with this program,” said Massachusetts Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We are pleased to see so many municipal and education leaders embrace the Safe Routes to School Program.”

Over 140 partners were recognized during the ceremony. The following awards were presented to those who showed exemplary efforts:

  • Exemplary Programs by Region Winners:
    • Fowler School, Maynard
    • Flaherty Elementary School, Braintree
    • Hancock Elementary School, Hancock
    • Provincetown Schools, Provincetown
    • Meetinghouse Elementary School, Westminster
  • Exemplary Programs by Region Honorable Mentions:
    • Lincoln Elementary School and McCall Middle School, Winchester
    • Job Lane Elementary School, Bedford
    • Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham
    • Sunderland Elementary School, Sunderland
    • East Falmouth Elementary School, East Falmouth
  • Community Collaboration Winner:
    • Healthy Pittsfield Partnership
  • Nikki Tishler Memorial Award:
    • Molly Reid, South Street Elementary School, Fitchburg

The 2019 Nikki Tishler Memorial Award was given to Molly Reid of the South Street Elementary School, Fitchburg, in honor and memory of Nikki Tishler, MassDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator. This award is given to the individual who has served as a true champion of SRTS over the past year, making the extra effort to ensure a successful and effective SRTS program in that individual’s community.

The SRTS Program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and with funds from the Federal Highway Administration, promotes safer routes for students to get to school by fostering partnerships between advocacy groups, law enforcement, education leaders, and public health departments. The SRTS Program utilizes the six E’s to implement its program- Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, Engineering, and Equity. The Program currently serves 888 schools in 225 communities across the Commonwealth.

For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School website.

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