The City of Grand Junction is committed to the safety and wellbeing of school-aged children. Since the school district changed the busing policy a few years ago, students have had to walk longer distances to school. The City has made a concerted effort to improve sidewalks and walking routes to get children to school safely. Since 2016, the City has invested over $700,000 in infrastructure that provides safe transportation corridors and amenities for students who walk or ride bicycles to school. More safety improvements are a part of the $50,000,000 the city is investing in transportation infrastructure over the next 5 years.
While the Federal Highway Administration working though the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) does have program dedicated to funding Safe Routes to Schools, there are many administrative challenges associated with the state program. The City instead prioritizes a portion of the federal Community Development Block Grant distribution it receives each year in creating its own Safe Routes to Schools program addressing issues perceived as barriers to making walking and bicycling to school a reality for more children in our community. Studies show that walking and bicycling reduce the risk of health problems in children such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
These improvements provide safer connections between neighborhoods and schools by adding sidewalks where there are none, constructing new crosswalks, shortening crossing distances by adding curb extensions (bulb outs), and building ramps to connect intersections to sidewalks.
The following is a list of projects completed by the City in the last five years:
2016 (Completed Projects)
- Westlake Park Pedestrian Improvements – $113,900
2017 (Completed Projects)
- Nisley Elementary Orchard Avenue Sidewalk from 29 Road to Melody Lane – $80,000
- El Poso Pedestrian Improvements – $52,000
- Bookcliff Middle School 29 1/4 Road sidewalk and crossings – $42,000 matched with dollars from Mesa County
2018 & 2019 (Projects under construction currently)
- Grand Avenue at 9th & 10th Streets pedestrian safety improvements – $72,700
- Pinyon Avenue Sidewalk from 13th Ave. to 15th Ave. – $60,000
- ADA improvements at City Hall and Tope Elementary School – $24,000
- B Road / Mesa View Elementary sidewalk from near Night Hawk Drive to school – $95,000
- B 1/2 & 27 1/2 Road intersection crossing and accessible ramps – $40,000
- Lorey Drive from Westlake Park to just west of 1st Street – $75,000
2020 (Projects scheduled for construction in summer 2021)
- Elm Avenue sidewalk from 28 to 28-1/4 Road – $120,000
For more information on safe routes to schools and other school transportation information, please visit the City’s website.
Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or email@example.com