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The Ohio Department of Transportation is working with communities and schools districts across the state to promote school safety, whether walking or biking to school. To help with that effort, ODOT awarded $7.2 million in grants to construct new walkways and crosswalks.
Campbell and Howland Township are getting a portion of the grant money to make sure there are safe routes for kids to walk or bike to school. Heather Hrelec is a teacher at Campbell Elementary and is excited about improving safety near her school.
“When you’re letting them out at the end of the day, that they’re safely walking home or riding their bikes home, and they don’t have to worry about cars in the street and they can safely walk home on the sidewalks,” said Hrelec.
Campbell will receive $365,000 to build or improve sidewalks on the west side of Struthers-Liberty Road from Notre Dame on the south to Tenney Avenue on the north. The sidewalk south of Tenney will also get a facelift.
“Just a positive thing that’s happening in the city and for the schools,” said Hrelec.
In Howland Township, $370,000 will help with signal and intersection upgrades. The Safe Routes to School Program is also an educational effort to teach kids about safety.
Paul Frankford owns a bicycle shop Girard. He got into bicycling years ago and said the addition of trails throughout the Valley is bringing new life to the activity. For many, it’s a family event.
“Anything you do to make it safer definitely has an advantage,” said Frankford. “Anytime you can get children off the roads, you can get a safe cycling it’s a major, major advantage it gets the kids away from the T.V., it gets them out exercising, it’s all good, it’s all positive.”
Only a few places in the state were awarded more than $365,000 for the project.