Good news! It is getting safer for NYC school children to walk or ride a bike to school due to The Safe Routes to Schools program.
The federal-aid program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration received $612 million over five fiscal years beginning in 2005 and was administered by state Departments of Transportation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the goal was to substantially improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely.
Each state administered its own program and developed its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. The program established two distinct types of funding opportunities: infrastructure projects (engineering improvements) and non-infrastructure related activities (such as education, enforcement and encouragement programs).
This program was initiated in part because since 2005 approximately 15,000 children nationwide have been hurt going to and from school and more than 300 of them died. Highly populated neighborhoods in NYC are among the most dangerous and received major funding from this program.
More than 134 schools in New York City, such as P.S. 194 in Harlem, were targeted for new safety interventions, including high-visibility crosswalks, new parking regulations and longer pedestrian crossing times. Another school, P.S. 123, received speed bumps and other safety measures that were specifically designed to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents involving children.
Safety advocates are pushing to have the program expanded because schools that do not have safety interventions still see the same rate of pedestrian injuries among children, according to ny1.com. Advocates would like state and local governments to continue the work that the federal government started.
Although many positive changes have occurred as a result of the SRTS program, there are still improvements needed, and children still need to be careful walking or bicycling to and from school. If you or loved one is injured going to or from school, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney to discuss your options for recovering medical expenses and other costs.