Rye Receives Grant To Ensure Safer Routes To School

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Alma Sherwood works as a crossing guard at the corner of Boston Post and Osborn roads in Rye. Photo Credit: File

RYE, N.Y. – Nearly $224,000 was awarded to the city of Rye to improve bicycling and walking conditions for students on their ways to school as part of the federal program “Safe Routes To School Program.”

The reimbursement program, funded 100 percent by the federal government, will enable the city of Rye 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.

The grant was coordinated by Rye YMCA’s Community Relations Coordinator Lisa Urban and Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility Denise Woodin. Rye YMCA Executive Director Gregg Howells will present the city with the $223,952 donation on behalf of the organization at the Rye City Council meeting on Wednesday.

Safe Routes to School programs are coordinated by parents, schools, local governments and community leaders, and funded by state and federal governments. They enable and encourage children to walk or bicycle to school, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.

One initiative already in place in Rye is the Walking School Bus program, a Safe Routes to School initiative in which parents and children go to school on foot to increase physical activity.

As part of the city’s commitment to student and pedestrian safety, $20,000 of the city’s budget will go toward funding two new crossing guards in 2013. The district does not have a busing system.

In addition to accepting the grant funding, Mayor Douglas French will deliver his 2013 State of the City address at the meeting.  The Rye City Council will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers at Rye City Hall, 1051 Boston Post Road, Rye.

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