Students who walk to school in Frankfort will find $250,000 worth of improvements along four routes. The city will use grant money from the Indiana Department of Transportation to pay for sidewalks, ramps and crosswalk improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.
June 23, 2014
Frankfort, Ind. — A $250,000 grant award from the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program to the City of Frankfort and the Healthy Communities of Clinton County means four specific walking routes will be improved, including sidewalk additions, signage, crosswalks and ADA curb ramps, according to Mayor Chris McBarnes, Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition Director Carol Price and Frankfort Safe Routes to School Chair Lisa Pierce.
The four walking routes are the east and west routes for Blue Ridge Primary/Green Meadows Intermediate schools and the north and south routes for Suncrest Elementary.
Two of the routes need little improvement due to fairly recent sidewalk additions at Willow Street, Barner Street and South First Street as a result of City projects and collaboration between City and Community Schools of Frankfort officials.
“This grant award is a powerful example of the results that can be achieved through our administration, Healthy Communities and Frankfort school officials’ joint efforts and strong spirit of collaboration. Our collective goal of increased safety for our children, neighborhood revitalization and improved economic development continues to be realized.
“Through the City’s investment of matching dollars for this grant and the consistent application of our Complete Streets Program in each of our street improvement projects, we always look for ways to make safety enhancements. Every improvement goes a long way towards our overall goal of community beautification and enhanced functionality of our infrastructure,” McBarnes said.
The east route for Blue Ridge/Green Meadow and the south route for Suncrest will see the most significant changes. The east route begins on the west side of Clay Street at Dorner’s Park, continuing down to Ann Street to Alhambra Avenue, then from Alhambra Avenue to Fairground Street, across Jackson Street to White Street and then on to the path that leads to the Blue Ridge/Green Meadow campus.
The south route for Suncrest begins at the corner of Jefferson Street and Myrtle Avenue, continues north on Myrtle passing the Clinton County Boys & Girls Club to West Kyger Street, then goes west on West Kyger Street to the path to Suncrest on Walsh Avenue.
According to Price, the $250,000 grant will provide a number of benefits for the community.
“This partnership between Healthy Communities of Clinton County and the City of Frankfort will not only provide improved safety along the routes kids walk and bike to school, but also will help the City reach its ADA requirements and improve the quality of life in the affected neighborhoods,” said Price. “This is a perfect example of how economic development and community improvement meet for health!”
Another part of the project will be the installation of two Rectangular Rapid Flash LED Beacons at mid-crossings on Rossville Avenue and Willow Street and at Jackson and White Streets.
According to Pierce, Frankfort’s Safe Routes to School initiative has been a multi-year effort involving a multitude of community stakeholders, teachers, parents, City officials, administrators, non-profits, past and present Frankfort school board members, and students.
“Our collaborative group has one purpose in mind: doing what is in the best interest of the children of our community. Our efforts do not end with this project, but rather, they will continue on to ensure our children’s safety. The team effort among all the parties is a prime reason why our community succeeded in landing this $250,000 grant,” Pierce said.
Frankfort City Councilor Eric Woods, an initial member of the community stakeholders group and parent at the time of children who attended Blue Ridge/Green Meadows, was instrumental in assisting with the City’s matching funds.
“Members of the Safe Routes to School group are to be commended for their foresight and dedication in helping to mitigate one of our community’s most grave safety concerns, the lack of safe walkways. They were diligent in their efforts toward a needs assessment, plan formation and seeking funds to provide for Frankfort’s largest school sidewalk construction project to date.
“It was a pleasure to partner with SRTS by providing grant match funding so our children will have a safe place to walk to school. The City Council pledged unanimous support for this future project,” Woods said.
While construction will not begin until 2017-2018, the planning timeline will begin in the near future with an initial planning meeting between INDOT and City officials.
Source: City of Frankfort