Department of Highways, District 11
Governor Ernie Fletcher & Transportation Cabinet Launch Safe Routes to School Pilot Projects - Improvement Project for City of Corbin Schools Approved

Press Release Date:  Friday, June 30, 2006  
Contact Information:  Sandy Rudder
Public Information Officer
606-598-2145
Sandy.Rudder@ky.gov
 


MANCHESTER, KY  (June 30, 2006) - Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced the first pilot projects for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program today.  Central Elementary, Corbin Middle School, South Elementary and Saint Camillus Academy Elementary School in Corbin are among the first schools approved for the safe routes funding.  The program is designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer, more appealing and healthier alternative for students in K-8th grade. 

“This project will make a positive impact on the local school and community,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher.  “I am committed to improving the educational climate and learning environment for our children in Whitley County and across our great commonwealth.  Projects like this one help motivate young students and get them into a mindset for learning.”

The City of Corbin will receive $195,000 to repair and construct new sidewalks along the streets surrounding Central Elementary, Corbin Middle School, South Elementary and Saint Camillus Academy in the City of Corbin.  Also included in the project are pavement markings, signage and crosswalks that will ensure safety along the routes to school. 

The safe routes program was established in August 2005 as part of the most recent federal transportation re-authorization legislation—SAFETEA-LU. For the first time, state transportation agencies will create and administer the safe routes programs which allow communities to compete for funding for local safe routes projects.

“These improvement projects benefit everyone because they underscore the importance of healthy lifestyles and will reduce air pollution in and around our schools,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert.

The Safe Routes to School program is comprised of five elements referred to as the 5 E’s.  The selection process was driven by the following:

• Engineering—creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establishing safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails and bikeways.
• Education—teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools. 
• Enforcement—partnering with local law enforcement agencies to ensure traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of schools (including enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and to initiate community enforcement such as crossing guard programs. 
• Encouragement—events and activities to promote walking and bicycling (bike rodeos). 
• Evaluation—monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data both before and after the intervention.

A total of $1.6 million in pilot projects for 13 school districts were announced today.  More information about the safe routes program in Kentucky is available online at http://www.saferoutes.ky.gov.

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