WADSWORTH,Ohio - The city of Wadsworth and Wadsworth City Schools need the help of parents and residents. They are seeking public input on Wadsworth’s Safe Routes to School Travel Plan.
The SRTS program is a Federal Highway Administration program administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation, designed to provide funding to create safe and convenient opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to and from school.
SRTS programs focuses on five E’s:
1. Evaluation: Assessing neighborhood conditions to determine needs, and measure the effectiveness of efforts to increase bicycling and walking
2. Education: Teaching parents and students about safe biking, walking, and driving
3. Encouragement: Promoting special events and contests to encourage children and their families to walk or bike to school
4. Engineering: Building infrastructure, such as sidewalks, crosswalks and multi-use paths
5. Enforcement: Ensuring motorists obey traffic laws, such as yielding to pedestrians and adhering to speed limits
According to the Ohio Department of Health, since 1980, the prevalence of obesity has tripled among school-age children, and it remains as high as approximately 17 percent. The SRTS program is helping to address critical issues related to children’s health, traffic congestion, public safety and the environment.
In addition, parents driving their children to and from school comprise 20 to 30 percent of morning and afternoon traffic in many communities. Perceived traffic dangers during student arrival and dismissal often results in more parents driving their children to school. This perception results in more driving, increased traffic problems and perpetuates the cycle of less walking and bicycling.
The city and the school district have developed a draft School Travel Plan. A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6 p.m. It will take place at Wadsworth City Hall, 120 Maple Street, in city council chambers.
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