PERU — Students walking to and from the Peru Central School District campus will have improved pedestrian access, thanks to a $235,000 grant from the federal Safe Routes to School Funds.
Representatives from the town, the School District, the Clinton County Health Department’s Healthy Schools NY Program and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office worked as a team to identify the need for better pedestrian access to the school in hopes that the grant application would be accepted.
“This funding will go to improve the crosswalk on (Route) 22B and to build sidewalks on campus to keep students from walking where cars and buses are driving,” said Adele Douglas, grant coordinator for the Town of Peru.
The crosswalk is located near Laflure Lane and connects to a subdivision on the far side of 22B to the school campus. The Safe Routes to Schools project will allow for the placement of flashing lights at the crosswalk as a safety measure along the busy thoroughfare.
“We’ve always had a collaborative effort from the Sheriff’s Office to help out at that crosswalk,” Douglas said.
Vehicles often travel above the speed limit along 22B during school hours, she said, and motorists sometimes do not stop for pedestrians waiting to enter the crosswalk.
“This should improve safety at that site.”
FEDERAL FUNDS CRUCIAL
Once students reach the school campus from the crosswalk, they immediately move onto a lawn, she added. The upcoming project will support construction of sidewalks from that point to sidewalks that currently exist on school property, completing the pedestrian route to the main buildings.
“One of the things we discussed (as a grant-application committee) was that Peru is not a walkable campus,” she said. “There are now no connections to the school’s sidewalk system. This project will correct that problem.”