Caltrans announced it will award $48.5 million of state Safe Routes to School Program funds to various projects throughout California to prevent injuries among children who walk or bike to school, according to a press release. Included is a $450,000 grant for Palo Alto, half of the total amount Santa Clara County will receive.
Palo Alto's allotment of funds will be used to "install speed feedback signs and construct raised mediums, expanded sidewalks at intersections, crosswalks, safety lighting, a channelized left turn lane, and bike lanes." $450,000 more will be used to construct new sidewalks, curb ramps and drainage improvements, among other things, throughout the rest of Santa Clara County.
The goal of the funding is to make walking and biking to school easier for local students. Not only will the projects reduce injuries and fatalities, but they will also hopefully encourage more students to walk or bike to school instead of getting a ride from a parent.
“Safety is Caltrans’ number one priority,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “We are committed to providing the highest safety possible for our childrenas they travel to and from school in California.”
To date, Safe Routes to School has awarded $472 million for safety projects throughout California. You can view a full list of projects that received funding here.