Update from the Rhode Island Safe Routes to School Program
Rhode Island has awarded Safe Routes to School projects in two rounds which includes more than $6 million in funding For Round 1, ten Safe Routes to School programs in seven cities and towns involving 30 schools have been awarded. At this time, they are in various stages from “in process of being implemented” to completion. For Round 2, twelve programs in ten cities and towns involving 16 schools have been awarded and all are in the process of being implemented (infrastructure and non-infrastructure). A Rhode Island Safe Routes to School program always consists of non-infrastructure activities (education, encouragement, law enforcement and evaluation) and usually infrastructure (construction).
Most programs included a Safe Routes to School National Course Workshop that was held usually at the school including the customary observation of the proposed infrastructure improvements as well as the observation of the school arrivals and dismissals. We are presently completing infrastructure kickoff meetings with all the programs in Round 2 with members of the program’s Safe Routes to School Team present. For this round of projects, on-call consultants will be designing the infrastructure projects for most of the schools and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation will manage the construction. Rhode Island is concentrating on using its SAFETEA-LU funding at this time. It is anticipated that there will be more non-infrastructure projects, possibly statewide providers from the funding received.