State Awards $250K to Niles City Schools for Student Safety

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Niles City Schools will receive $250,000 through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program to improve safety for students.

The funding will be used for sidewalk replacement near Niles Intermediate School and to install ADA-compliant curb ramps at updated locations, according to a news release.

The funding, which was announced Thursday, is part of $9.8 million that was awarded by the state for projects to improve safety for students walking and biking to and from school in 25 counties.

“Walking and biking is a healthy way for children to get to and from school, but we must ensure each student can do so safely. This program provides that opportunity,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The Safe Routes to School program provides funding for infrastructure such as new sidewalks and path extensions, crosswalks and rapid flashing beacons, bicycle lanes and other safety equipment around Ohio schools. It also provides programming for communities to help encourage and enable K-12 students living within 2 miles of their schools to walk or ride a bike.

A total of 45 projects were selected through a competitive process by a committee made up of experts from ODOT, the Ohio Department of Health and other entities. The committee’s goal was to fund projects that provided both infrastructure and safety awareness for children walking and biking to school, the release states.

“I’m encouraged to see the increasing interest in active transportation across our state and proud of our efforts to make it safer to walk or ride a bike,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said. “However, these safety improvements aren’t as effective if drivers aren’t paying attention, driving the speed limit and being extra alert for young children, especially around schools during school hours.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.