Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in partnership with local governments and non-profit organizations is proactively paving a course to enhance safety conditions surrounding Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School (SSK8) located at 8412 13th Street in Tampa. HCPS is currently in the process of submitting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant Application to the Florida Department of Transportation for SSK8.
Safe Routes to School is a national, state, and countywide effort to promote walking and biking to school and make walking to school, safe, popular, and fun for families.
"Many in the community are in agreement, safe routes create a partnership between schools, teachers, parents, students, and local communities that result in transportation improvements--making walking and bicycling safer options for students of all ages," said Cindy Stuart, HCPS school board member and chair of Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning for Transportation (MPO) School Transportation Working Group (STWG).
A mini road safety audit around the SSK8 community was conducted by William Porth, City of Tampa traffic safety coordinator; Amber Dickerson, HCPS manager of planning and siting; and, Chantel Angeletti, SSK8 principal, to identify areas in need of this initiative. The grant is also supported by the assistance of local stakeholders including the City of Tampa, City of Tampa Police, Sulphur Springs Neighborhood of Promise, Hillsborough County Department of Health, MPO, and the local Parent Teacher Association.
"The SRTS grant process ensures that all impacted stakeholders are involved in the process," said Dickerson. "We have amazing partners who are always willing to step up to help us improve the safety conditions around schools."
Federal SRTS funding enables schools to make infrastructure improvements and offer educational activities, such as the Walking School Bus program. Projects may include planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school. The projects must directly support increased safety and convenience for school children in grades K-12 to bicycle and/or walk to school.
The Federal SRTS Grant proposal for SSK8 will include new and improved crosswalks, sidewalks, lighting, and signage immediately surrounding the school. If funded, the proposed bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements will not only serve the Sulphur Springs K-8 students, but also the community as a whole. Applications are due on January 31, 2017, and awarded applicants will be notified in the summer of 2018.
For more information about Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School: http://sulphursprings.mysdhc.org/
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