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Last updated 7:42PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Safe Roads Group Lands Grant
(2008-03-24)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A local effort to improve bike and pedestrian safety is beginning to see some results, winning a
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Durango is considered by many to be a bicycle friendly community.
Yet most children are driven to school each day, out of safety concerns.
That adds to traffic congestion, pollution and other issues.
A coalition comprised of 9R schools, Healthy Lifestyle La Plata, The Safe Roads Coalition, Trails 2000 and others, has just been awarded a 35-thousand dollar Safe Routes to School grant, from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The money will be used for a safety education program, that will be presented at District 9R Elementary, and Middle Schools as well as the high school.
MORRIS: I BELIEVE THAT IT COULD BE VERY SAFE.
Kathy Morris heads up the effort for the school district.
She says the program will be presented starting this fall.
MORRIS: THE PROJECT WILL INSURE THAT PARENTS AND CHILDREN ALIKE WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO WALK AND RIDE TO SCHOOL, EITHER ON THEIR BICYCLES OR SCOOTERS. WE'LL BE EDUCATING THE STUDENTS OF COURSE THROUGH OUR WELLNESS CURRICULUM, AND SENDING HOME INFORMATION TO PARENTS WITH SAFE ROUTES THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED THROUGH THE CITY AND DIRECTLY RELATE TO OUR DISTRICT BOUNDARIES FOR OUR SCHOOLS. WE HAVE A LOT OF FOLKS THAT ARE DRIVING THAT PROBABLY DON'T REALIZE THERE ARE SOME REALLY GREAT WALKING PATHS THAT CHILDREN CAN WALK TOGETHER IN GROUPS. AND WE CAN ACTUALLY START EDUCATING THEM ON MEETING PLACES, LIKE PARK AND RIDE. THEY CAN ACTUALLY WALK TOGETHER FROM MEETING POINTS AND WE'LL REDUCE CONGESTION AROUND OUR SCHOOLS AND IN TURN MAKE IT A LOT SAFER.
The grant is believed to be the first significant grant awarded since the coalition announced its formation last summer.
Jenine Justice, coordinator of Healthy Lifestyle La Plata says the coalition is looking at other ways as well, to make the area even more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
One- she says is by making roads more accessible.
JUSTICE: SO THAT WOULD BE WALKERS, PEOPLE RIDING BIKES, PEOPLE IN WHEELCHAIRS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AS WELL AS CARS, SO INSTEAD OF BEING CAR CENTRIC, HAVING ROADS BEING CAR CENTRIC, WE WANT IT TO BE MULTI-MODAL SO ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION CAN FEEL SAFE.
The group hopes to next secure a Safe Routes to School grant for but such things as bike paths, signage and more.
Another goal of the group is to win a coveted, and difficult to obtain Bicycle Friendly Community designation for Durango.
You can find out more about their efforts online at saferoadscoalition.org.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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