RYE, N.Y. – Nearly $224,000 will be invested in improving walking and bicycling conditions around Rye City schools, thanks to a federal grant, the city announced.
“We’re thrilled that the state has recognized our commitment to pedestrian safety and our ability to implement projects that will benefit our entire community,” said Rye City Manager Scott Pickup in a press release.
Rye is among the 64 municipalities, agencies and non-profits statewide slated to receive funding under the federal Safe Routes to School Program. The reimbursement program, funded 100 percent by the federal government, will enable the city to examine its conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, in addition to reducing traffic and air pollution, near schools.
One of the first projects will involve installing rectangular rapid flash beacons at intersections near schools that are not currently manned by crossing guards. The signals are pedestrian activated and will alert drivers of pedestrians within crosswalks. Each pair of signals costs about $20,000 to install. The intersections will be near the high and middle school as well as Osborn Elementary School at Boston Post Road and Old Post Road; Hewlett Avenue at Forest Avenue near Milton Elementary School; Apawamis Avenue at Forest Avenue near the high and middle school; and Eve Lane at Forest Avenue near Midland Elementary School.
The second project at the intersection of Theall Road and Osborn Road will extend the existing curbs to reduce the 90-foot crossing distance by about 30 percent for walkers near Osborn Elementary School. The project also will replace damaged or deteriorated sidewalks at the intersection, providing ADA-compliant ramps and increasing the landing area for those waiting to cross Osborn Road.
The third project at the intersection of Grace Church Street and Midland Avenue would extend the existing curbs and re-configure the existing narrow center island in Grace Church Street to provide a pedestrian refuge area for Midland School walkers.
The last project would elevate an existing sidewalk and install a six-inch curb on Hewlett Avenue adjacent to Milton School. There is currently no physical barrier to prevent cars in the nearby drop-off zone from encroaching on the sidewalk where children walk to school.
The $223,952 cost of improvements will be fully covered by the federal funding. The grant was coordinated by Rye YMCA’s Community Relations Coordinator Lisa Urban and Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility Denise Woodin.
“This funding will reinforce our efforts to create a more walkable Rye, especially for our schoolchildren,” said Pickup. “We are grateful to the staff of the Rye YMCA, who coordinated the application process and worked closely with community advocates and the city to identify potential projects.”
For more exact locations, check out this Google map of the Safe Routes to School Grant Projects.