Minnesota Schools Receive $8.2 Million for Safe Routes to School Program

© Shutterstock

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) recently awarded nearly 180 schools across the state $8.2 million in planning, programming, and infrastructure grants that support the Safe Routes to School program.

Safe Routes to School is an international program that improves safety and reduces traffic congestion around schools by making it safer and easier for students to walk and cycle to school.

State and federal money for Safe Routes to School funded this series of grants.

“Thousands of school children now have more opportunities to walk and bike to school thanks to the Safe Routes to School program,” said Nancy Daubenberger, acting MnDOT commissioner. “More students walking and cycling means less traffic on the road and near schools, improving safety and promoting the health of children.”

Schools can use the funding to enhance existing local programs; bring together a team to understand key issues, prioritize strategies and identify solutions that meet local needs; build paths and sidewalks; or add crosswalk markings, flashing beacons and other traffic control devices.

The MnDOT has awarded more than $50 million in federal and state funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School since 2005. Nearly 70% of the funding has supported work in communities across Greater Minnesota. The majority of the funding went to infrastructure projects.