Commissioner Nicely: Safer Routes To School, Healthier Tennessee Children -And Response

Thursday, December 04, 2008 - by Commissioner Gerald Nicely

Many of us remember a time not so long ago when children walked or biked to and from school each day. It was a time to play, catch up with friends, and get a few extra minutes of exercise. These days, more and more kids are catching the bus or a ride from their parents. Sometimes, it's a matter of convenience. Other times, it's a matter of safety.

TDOT's Safe Routes to School program aims to improve safety conditions near elementary and middle schools, and in turn, make walking or biking a safer, more appealing and healthier alternative for the state's school age children. The SRTS program is funded with $10.8 million in federal funds through 2009. The grants provide 100% of the project funding and do not require a local match.

In November, TDOT provided close to $2 million in federal funds to ten communities across the state. Those funds will be used for a wide variety of projects such as sidewalk construction, crosswalk improvements, multi-use paths, and enhanced signage and pavement markings. The grants will also fund important educational programs focused on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

With such worthwhile projects in the works near schools all over the state, TDOT is already looking ahead to next year's grants. Applications for 2009 will be accepted through March 27, 2009 at 3 p.m. To obtain an application or to learn more about the program, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/saferoutes.htm
or contact our program coordinator at (615) 253-2421.

The Safe Routes to School program can integrate health, fitness, traffic relief, environmental awareness, and safety. It also provides an important opportunity for schools, communities, and local and state leaders to work together to promote a healthier lifestyle for our school children and create a safer, cleaner environment for everyone.

* * *

More information about Safe Routes to Schools programming locally is available at www.saferouteschattanooga.org. Providing mobility options for our children as well as adults is fundamental to many key issues in our society. From the health and wellness of our youth to transportation and fuel costs, providing opportunities for children to walk and bike to school is very important.

As our school district faces significant financial challenges, these broader issues of health, fitness, air quality, traffic congestion and transportation expense must be included in any cost analysis for school closures. The Safe Routes to School program provides direct benefits to parents, their children and our community at large.

Philip Pugliese
Bicycle Coordinator
Outdoor Chattanooga
ppugliese@outdoorchattanooga.com


David Carroll: Touched By Alzheimer’s, A Thanksgiving Love Story

I want to share a Thanksgiving love story. Those smiles belong to Jim and Andi Erwin of Collegedale, now married 45 years. Jim is 68, Andi is 63.  I met them last summer, and fell in love immediately. Andi is a talker. Full of life, with energy to spare. Jim used to be a talker, an award-winning one. In his youth he was a teacher and pastor, very well-educated. Simply put, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Pretty’ Seeking ‘Rich’

The story has been around for a while, long enough for the fact-checking Snopes.com to classify it as a “legend,” which means “great story but lacks validity,” so as we hope Tennessee’s football team can somehow beat 19 th -ranked Missouri in a rough-and-tumble game at Neyland Stadium tonight, allow me to share this because it is delightful just the same. The following is what ... (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim was inside. The officer followed the car to SkyRidge Medical Center. Several people soon arrived at the ... (click for more)

Police Investigating An Armed Robbery On Friday Night At UTC

UTC Police are investigating with the Chattanooga City Police an armed robbery in Lot 4 near Boling Apartments on Friday night. The suspects are described as two black men.  One was six feet tall, wearing a navy jacket, with medium skin tone and short hair.  The other suspect was reported to be 5’ 7”, wearing blue jeans and a long white T-shirt. The second suspect ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Big Over Furman, Undefeated In Conference Play

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team put a cherry on top of its 2014 regular season with Saturday’s 45-19 win at Furman (3-9, 2-5 SoCon).  The victory gives the No. 9 Mocs (9-3, 7-0 SoCon) its first ever undefeated Southern Conference slate and its first nine-win season since 1979. Junior quarterback Jacob Huesman led the way with 257 passing yards ... (click for more)