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safe-routes-to-school-north-andover-2017MassDOT joined students, parents and local leaders to celebrate the completion of the Safe Routes to School bicycle and pedestrian improvements at the North Andover Middle School in North Andover.

The improvements, constructed by MassDOT with funds from the Federal Highway Administration and supported 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 initiative that helps communities in the Commonwealth to meet their safety and educational goals,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “By enhancing key infrastructure immediately surrounding schools, we are able to provide better access to safe walking and biking opportunities for students, parents, school staff, and the local community to take part in healthier travel options.”

The pedestrian and bicycle improvements include reconstructed sidewalks along the North Andover Middle School driveway entrance, Massachusetts Avenue, Greene Street, Parker Street, and adjacent neighborhood streets. Improvements also include ADA compliant wheelchair ramps, intersection re-alignment, new pavement markings, signs, and drainage enhancements.

Since partnering with the Safe Routes to School Program in 2009, North Andover Middle School staff and parents have collaborated with MassDOT to address neighborhood safety 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 Diane Hanson. “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 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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