[ back ]
PT looks to lessen construction costs
Prairie Township officials are taking steps to encourage kids to walk to school, and they’ve found a way to help them do it safely and without breaking the bank.
At their July 29 meeting, trustees discussed changes to the Woodlawn Avenue improvement project, along with the possibility of combining funding for the project with grant money as a way of lessening the financial burden on the township.
One possible source of grant money is Safe Routes to School (SRTS), a federally funded program managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). SRTS awards funding each year to communities looking to encourage a Safe Route to School.
According to their Web site, SRTS generally takes applications September through November, and announces awards each March.
Heather Bowden was present at the meeting, a planner for the company behind the Woodlawn and South Grener road improvement projects, Stantec Consultants. She presented the grant applications for improving Woodlawn and Safe Routes to School.
Bowden suggested that both the Woodlawn and Safe Routes to School projects overlap for grant money in an effort to cut costs.
Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker explained this method will allow the township to use tax-free grant money instead of loan money.
The Woodlawn project will include regrading and repaving the road and improving curbs, gutters and storm sewers. Combining the Woodlawn and Safe Routes Projects potentially means additional grant money received to pay for sidewalks on Woodlawn.
The students who would primarily use Woodlawn on their journey to and from school would be those enrolled in Stiles and Prairie Norton elementaries.
Hatmaker said the reason for adding the sidewalks is not so much about the number of children using Woodlawn now, but rather the idea is to encourage kids to walk or ride bikes to school.
“It’s not just about safety, it’s about health,” said Hatmaker, who added that this project is part of a larger movement in the nation of people now focusing on ways to fight childhood obesity.
Bowden also discussed speed bumps with the trustees.
She said studies have shown that speed bumps actually encourage speeding because drivers become frustrated and speed up quickly after going over a bump.
In light of her argument, trustees suggested a meeting be held to discuss alternatives to speed bumps and to collect general thoughts from the public on speeding in the area.
Trustees approved a meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, directly before the next township board of trustees meeting, to discuss options for traffic calming on Woodlawn and possibly other streets.
The meeting will be held in the township offices, 23 Maple Dr.
[ back ]