The City of Negaunee and the Negaunee Public School District are announcing a joint cooperation project though the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) to develop a Safe Routes to School study. The study will offer recommendations for implementation related to Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program and be submitted for a grant.
According to the Safe Routes to School website (www.saferoutespartnership.org), “Safe Routes to School is an initiative that works to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children to walk and bicycle to and from schools. The goal is to get more children walking and bicycling to school, improve kids’ safety, and increase health and physical activity”.
Both the School District and the City will be putting together a committee to study the possible improvements to city infrastructure, such as, sidewalks that are commonly used as routes to and from schools. The Negaunee Middle School and Lakeview Elementary School campuses will also be reviewed for possible improvements related to the SRTS program guide.
Improvements could include sidewalk, crosswalk, and other crossing upgrades, as well as, educational materials and other implementations. Each school could revied up to $250,000 each for their respective SRTS projects.
According to the SRTS program’s website, “The most successful Safe Routes to School programs incorporate the Six E’s: evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and equity. At the regional and state level, Safe Routes to School practitioners work to find new funding and ensure proper spending of existing funding for Safe Routes to School. And at the federal level, the Safe Routes Partnership and its allies maintain a steady voice for policy and funding support and provide a source of expert help, ideas, and resources for leaders at all levels”.
“We hope to complete the study with MSU in the upcoming month and submit an application with the SRTS grant program around the same time. The safety of our students is always our top priority. Revenue received from this grant will help with this goal”, Negaunee Public Schools Superintendent Dan Skewis said.
According to Heffron, “The outcomes of this study will rely on direct feedback from students, parents, and residents of the community to help paint a picture of what is needed. This will include meetings and surveys in the coming months”. Residents are encouraged to look for opportunities to be involved in this process as information is released to the public.
For more information, please contact Nate Heffron, Negaunee City Manager, at 906-475-7700, Ext. 11., or Dan Skewis, Negaunee Schools Superintendent at 906-475-4156.