ACHD, Boise Schools putting more sidewalks near elementary schools

Credit: Zach Stotland/ KTVB

ACHD, Boise Schools putting more sidewalks near elementary schools

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 3:53 AM

BOISE -- The Boise School District is asking for more sidewalks around some of their schools as part of the Safe Routes to School program.

The Treasure Valley keeps on growing, putting more cars on the road and kids in the schools, and Safe Routes to Schools aims at making it safer for kids walking or biking to school.

"We live in an urban area. We live in a very metropolitan area now, and we need to be cognizant about how safely students can get to and from school," said Dan Hollar, spokesperson for the Boise School District.

There are two projects underway right now near Boise elementary schools. A sidewalk is being installed behind Taft Elementary, and crews are putting sidewalks on both sides of the street near Pierce Park Elementary.

"Those are areas that traditionally have not had sidewalks, and so the students will benefit, but again the wider issue is for our community as a whole," said Hollar.

Hollar said the program promotes healthy living and clean air, in addition to safety.

The Ada County Highway District has $4 million a year for Safe Routes to School projects. The money comes from the capital project fund, and vehicle registration fees. ACHD works with school districts, like Boise, to find out which areas need work the most.

"They know where their students are walking and where they would be walking maybe if amenities were there. And so they're a crucial part of our safe routes to school program," said Christine Myron, from ACHD.

Myron said this makes it safer for kids, but also safer for drivers on those roads.

The Boise School District submitted their new list of projects to ACHD on Monday. It has 50 different areas, mostly around elementary schools, where they feel safety improvements could be made.

In 2011, Idaho came in sixth in the nation for top participation in Walk to School Day.

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