Rye City Manager Scott Pickup announced today that Rye is among the 64 municipalities, agencies and non-profits statewide that will receive funding under the federal Safe Routes to School program. The City’s application, which was submitted in October 2012, calls for several infrastructure improvements that will allow children to walk or cycle to school more safely.
“We’re thrilled that the state has recognized our commitment to pedestrian safety and our ability to implement projects that will benefit our entire community,” Pickup stated. “This funding will reinforce our efforts to create a more walkable Rye, especially for our schoolchildren. We are grateful to the staff of the Rye YMCA, who coordinated the application process and worked closely with community advocates and the City to identify potential projects.”
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is a federal-aid transportation reimbursement program, administered in New York by the New York State Department of Transportation. During the current round of funding, the state received $26.5 million dollars to distribute through a competitive application process.
The goals of the SRTS Program include:
- Enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
- Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and,
- Facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells remarked “Safe Routes to Schools is one of the cornerstones of the Y’s Healthier Communities work. Walking and biking allows kids to be physically active, reduces traffic congestion around the schools, and fosters a sense of community for children and their families.
The Y commends our city officials, particularly Scott Pickup and City Planner Christian Miller, for their vision and hard work on behalf of all Rye residents. We’re also proud of Lisa Urban, the Y’s Community Outreach Coordinator and Denise Woodin, our Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility for their hard work on this application.”
The infrastructure projects will improve conditions around Midland, Osborn and Milton Elementary Schools and the Rye Middle/High School campus. The total cost of the improvements--$223,952—will be fully covered by the federal SRTS funding.
“We’re fortunate to live in a community that cares so deeply about pedestrian safety,” Pickup observed. “This application was backed not only by the Y, but also by school officials, elected officials, local non-profits and civic organizations, and city agency heads. I want to thank in particular Maureen Gomez and Steve Cadenhead, co-chairs of the Rye Shared Roadways Committee, as well as the members of the Rye YMCA’s Safe Routes to School Committee, who offered their guidance and support.”