THE OHIO Department of Transportation is synonymous with roadways. ODOT, however, is also serious when it comes to safety issues.
ODOT is preparing to hand our $4 million to schools in the Buckeye State through its Ohio's Safe Routes to School Program. It is accepting applications until March 3, 2014.
The program places great emphasis on student safety. It is designed to assist communities in scripting and implementing programs that encourage and enable children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, including those with disabilities, to walk or bike to school safely.
ODOT established the Safe Routes to School Program seven years ago, and it has been met with resounding success. Ohio is a national pioneer in such an endeavor, as it is the first state in the country to develop a comprehensive process to define needs in the largest and most disadvantaged areas in the state.
Currently, ODOT is working with Toledo Public Schools, Akron Public Schools and Columbus City Schools to determine effective countermeasures to improve safety for students walking and bicycling to school.
"We look forward to finding new opportunities and continuing to improve the safety of transportation for our children," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.
Local and regional governments, schools and community organizations are eligible to apply for funding. More information and applications are located on the Safe Routes to School website: www.dot.state.oh.us/safe routes.
We encourage our local entities to apply for such funding. A safer transport to school is a better way to go.