The Village of Divernon and the Auburn School District are working to develop a program that will make it safer for elementary and middle school students to walk or bike to and from school. The program – Illinois Safe Routes to School – is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Village may be eligible for grant funds up to $250,000 for this project.
A walk to school week is being planned for the first full week of the school year. The Village, School District and PTO are encouraging all students who attend the Divernon campus to take part in this event. Parents are also encouraged to join the children in walking to and from the school campus. During this week surveys will be sent home with students to complete with their parents. This survey will be a valuable part of the “school travel plan” – a critical requirement that must be met before the Village can apply for any grant funding, so, community response to the surveys will be of the up most importance.
The Divernon Police Department will be having a "Bike Safety Class"with a tentative date of Saturday Aug. 14, 2010. Look for more information later in the Divernon News.
Schools, parents, local government, community groups and law enforcement all have a stake in SRTS and contribute to its success.
Some examples of eligible infrastructure projects the Village can apply for include: new sidewalks, repaired sidewalks, ramps, traffic calming or speed reduction devices, separation of bike and pedestrian traffic from vehicle traffic, pedestrian signals, sight improvements, and more. Non-infrastructure activities such as traffic enforcement, lower speed limits near schools and more are also eligible for grant funding.
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program was established in 2005 as a federal program to improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely. SRTS projects, once approved, are funded at 100 percent with no local match required.
More information about the school travel plan, the student surveys or the overall program is available by calling the Village of Divernon at 628-3416 or the Divernon Police Department at 682-9725.
For more information on the Safe Routes to School Program, please click here.