December 19, 2006
Contact: Scott Diener
Phone: (360) 337-4966
Suquamish Safe Routes to School Program on State's
Prioritized Project List for Funding
ORCHARD, WAŚDue in large part to the efforts of the Suquamish Citizen
Advisory Committee, the Suquamish Safe Routes to School program is slated to
receive $500,000 from the 2007-2009 Washington State Department of
Transportation's Safe Routes to Schools Grant Program. Seven million dollars
of Safe Routes to Schools federal funds were made available to the state.
The Suquamish project was one of 19 selected for funding from among 101 Safe
Routes to Schools project requests totaling almost $40 million. The project
includes sidewalks, bike lanes, signals, signs, educational materials,
events, increased emphasis on patrols and a radar speed feedback sign.
getting this project high on DOT's priority list lies squarely with the
Suquamish community," said Commissioner Chris Endresen, District #1.
"Because of people like Gail Petranek, Craig Curtis, Tom Curley, Kevin
McDonald and Bruce Goodrich, the area around the Suquamish Elementary School
will be a safer place for pedestrians and bicycles alike."
Project proposals were evaluated on their ability to increase
the number of students walking and biking to school by making improvements
in areas of health and safety education, enforcement and engineering. While
the legislature can change the priorities or funding levels, historically
that has not happened very often. The state's transportation budget is expected
to be approved in April or May 2007.
"On behalf of the Suquamish Citizen Advisory Committee, I can say we are
pleased with the results of the priority list," said Gail Petranek, who
serves on the committee and has worked on the Suquamish Sub-Area Plan. "Our
project ranking in the list reflects the dedication and commitment of the
committee members, Suquamish Elementary School, Kitsap County Public Works
and Community Development and the Suquamish Tribe in providing safe routes
for our students traveling to and from school."
In 2005, the governor and the Washington State Legislature increased the
state's role in safety by providing funding that supports pedestrian and
bicycle safety and safe routes to school projects (ESSB 6091). In addition,
a new federal Safe Routes to Schools program was established in 2005 to
provide federal funding to the state. The intent of the legislation was to
provide children with a safe, healthy alternative to riding the bus or being
driven to school.