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Thursday, January 24 , 2019, 3:19 am | Fair 42º


Caltrans Awards $48.5 Million in Safe Routes to School Funding

Santa Barbara County projects will benefit schools in Lompoc and Orcutt

Caltrans on Thursday awarded $48.5 million of state Safe Routes to School Program funds for 139 projects to increase safety and help reduce injuries and fatalities among children in grades K-12 who walk and bicycle to school.

“Safety is Caltrans’ No. 1 priority,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “We are committed to providing the highest safety possible for our children as they travel to and from school in California.”

Among the state-funded projects are new sidewalks, bicycle lanes and other safety improvements. Caltrans chose each project based on need, effectiveness and how quickly it could be delivered. By improving safety, more kids are encouraged to walk and bicycle to school, resulting in healthier children while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle congestion.

Some of the projects that received funding include:

» $417,000 for the construction of sidewalks, curb ramps and the installation of a flashing beacon near Arthur Hapgood, Clarence Ruth and Leonora Fillmore elementary schools, Lompoc Valley Middle School and Lompoc High School in Santa Barbara County.

» $200,000 for the construction of sidewalks and curb ramps near Templeton Elementary and Templeton Middle School in San Luis Obispo County.

» $335,000 for the construction of sidewalks near Orcutt Junior High School and Orcutt Academy High School in Santa Barbara County.

» $550,000 to construct a pedestrian path and bridge near Vine Hill Elementary School and Scotts Valley High School in Santa Cruz County.

» $340,000 to construct curb ramps, upgrade crosswalks, signs and pavement markings at 34 intersections, which include Ann Soldo, Freedom, H.A. Hyde, Landmark, Linscott Charter, Mintie, Moreland Notre Dame, Radcliff, Starlight and T.S. MacQuiddy elementary schools and E.A. Hall, Cesar E. Chavez and Rolling Hills middle Schools in Watsonville.

To date, the state and federal Safe Routes to School programs have awarded $472 million for safety projects around public schools in California. More than $7 million of the funds were awarded to critical safety projects in rural counties. In addition, 82 projects totaling $28 million will create jobs and benefit at least one low-income school within each project.

Click here for the entire list of SRTS projects that received funding.

— Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans District 5.

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