BOCES to host workshop funding safe routes to school

Workshops on Safe Routes to School funding will be conducted by the state Department of Transportation Monday at Madison-Oneida BOCES on Spring Road in Verona, and Thursday, June 14, at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES on Middle Settlement Road in New Hartford, from 3-5 p.m. both days.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 5 for the federal funding, administered by DOT and geared for infrastructure improvements and public education campaigns to help children safely walk and bike to school. Project awards will be announced by yearend.

Projects could include installing traffic signals or crosswalks, plus constructing or rehabbing sidewalks. Funding also will be provided to municipalities, school districts, police agencies and non-profit organizations for public education and outreach projects.

The DOT, which last month announced $23.9 million in funding, is conducting regional information workshops about Safe Routes to School and will make program applications and guidebooks available to communities statewide.

The intent is to encourage children to walk or bicycle to school where possible; help them adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle through bicycling and walking; and facilitate transportation projects to improve safety while reducing traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution near schools.