Albemarle County Announces Safe Routes to School Grant for Crozet Elementary

Earning/winning this grant was the result of collaborative work by the County of Albemarle, the Albemarle County School Board, 250 West group, Crozet Community Association, the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation and a few others. Readers of RealCrozetVA know that I have long advocated for walkability and bikeability in Crozet, and practice what I preach.

(Bolding mine.)

From the press release:

Chairman Ann Mallek, School Board member Barbara Massie Mouly, and Crozet school officials and parents. The grant will fund construction of a new sidewalk north of the school connecting to neighborhoods where many students live and a crosswalk with activated flashers and a warning sign to alert approaching motorists. This project will be funded entirely by grant funds.

The project is intended to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment in the area surrounding the school, and will significantly increase the number of students who can safely walk or bike to school. Approximately 177 of 305 students live within two miles of Crozet Elementary School and there are over 200 homes in neighborhood located within one-half mile of the school that will be able to take advantage of the new pedestrian features. In addition, the private Field School located directly across the street from Crozet Elementary will also be linked by the new sidewalk to neighborhoods north of downtown Crozet and will be served by the new crosswalk and warning sign features.

“We appreciate the partnership between the County, the School Division and the Crozet Elementary School community that allowed us to successfully obtain this funding,” said Board Chair Ann Mallek in announcing the grant. “Connecting neighborhoods and schools through safe pedestrian routes helps us achieve the kind of walkable communities we envision in the County, and the use of grant funds is particularly important in the current economic climate.”

The Crozet PTO’s Walk to School program already sponsors monthly walks for children and their parents and supports the Safe Route project as a way to encourage active, healthy lifestyles among students, and the school administration is strongly committed to promoting alternative transportation for their students.

“These improvements are absolutely critical to meet our goal of encouraging more families to walk to school together,” said Crozet Elementary School Principal Karen Marcus. “Our goal is for families to feel comfortable allowing their students to walk or ride their bikes to school, and with the changes funded by this grant, we envision one-third to one-half of our student population now being able to safely walk to school.”

The highlight for me was to be introduced by the infamous Josh Davis, who all of us parents remember from the snowpocalypse of 2010.

A rough approximation of the sidewalk improvements’ location:

View Crozet, Virginia, USA in a larger map

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One Reply to “Albemarle County Announces Safe Routes to School Grant for Crozet Elementary”

  1. Jim,
    This is going to cost taxpayers $200,000. Honestly, is it worth that? Isn’t this part of the problem? Our local supervisor gets to crow about this, of course, and it seems like it’s all good for Crozet, but when every little community in the country spends on nonsense like this, it adds up, and we pass on a debt to our children. I walked to the elementary school that I went to back in the day all the time without a sidewalk. Go to the kids who go there, ask them if we should spend this money now on them, and have them pay it back, through taxes (and interest) twenty years from now when, with inflation, it will have doubled. I know what I would say. How many kids walk anywhere now on the sidewalks we do have? If they’re going to build a sidewalk, built it on Tabor (between town and the park where there is none as you know), cut out the flashing lights nonsense, and do it for a reasonable amount ($20,000?). Two hundred thousand dollars for this–really?

Something to say?