The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just announced that their Safe Routes to School program has received a $495,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to build engineering improvements at seven local elementary and K-8 schools.
In a press release, PBOT Safe Routes program coordinator Gabe Graff said:
“We are excited and proud to have been selected for this funding… By bringing in this funding, Portland’s Safe Routes to School program will help make walking and biking a more realistic, safer option.”
Schools that will see improvements thanks to this funding boost are; Atkinson Elementary, Clarendon at Portsmouth K-8, Harvey Scott K-8, Humboldt K-8, Lent K-8, Mill Park Elementary, Rieke Elementary and Russell Academy.
Projects to be funded with the money were prioritized by each school’s “Safe Routes school teams” which are made up of staff, parents, neighbors, and sometimes even a student or two. The teams worked with a PBOT engineer to identify the barriers to biking and walking around their schools and to come up with engineering solutions.
This grant money — which flows from the federal government as part of the current transportation bill that was passed in 2005 — will fund improvements including pedestrian islands, curb ramps, speed bumps, street lighting, and raised crosswalks.
The City of Portland’s Safe Routes to School program currently serves 72 schools.