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$6M to help towns keep pedestrians safe

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
By Karen Rouse

Five Bergen County municipalities will get a share of $6 million in state grants to keep pedestrians safe as they walk to school or public transportation.

Governor Corzine and the state Department of Transportation on Monday announced $4 million in “Safe Routes to School” grants and $2 million in “Safe Streets to Transit” grants.

New Jersey’s Safe Routes to School Program supports projects that encourage safe walking and bicycling to school. It also promotes pedestrian safety awareness among motorists and schoolchildren and aims to reduce traffic jams and air pollution.

The 2008 Safe Routes to School initiative will support projects in 33 municipalities ranging from $8,000 to $300,000.

The North Jersey municipalities include:
* Demarest, $150,000
* Fort Lee, $184,000
* Hasbrouck Heights, $23,000
* Ridgewood, $42,000

The Safe Streets to Transit program helps counties and municipalities improve access to mass transit facilities, such as bus stops and train stations. Grants are going to 15 municipalities to install and upgrade sidewalks and pedestrian barriers, and improve lighting and drainage on roads.

In Bergen County, Edgewater was awarded a $70,000 Safe Streets to Transit grant.

“These programs are critical components of New Jersey’s five year pedestrian safety program,” Corzine said.

“Providing kids and commuters with safe facilities to walk and ride their bikes can encourage mass transit use, improve quality of life and prevent childhood obesity.”

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