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Woodlawn slated for sidewalks
Parents with school children walking on Woodlawn Avenue can look forward to a safer journey within a year.
Prairie Township, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), will be putting sidewalks along that stretch of street.
The township also has tentative plans to improve to the overall quality of the road through additional grant funds.
The sidewalks are part of the Safe Routes to School Program through ODOT. Through an application process, Prairie was able to have ODOT conduct a study to determine the need for sidewalks in the area.
Some of the schools that would benefit the most from the sidewalks on Woodlawn are Stiles Elementary, Westland High School, Norton Middle School and Prairie Norton Elementary.
The Safe Routes to School program through ODOT is in conjunction with a national initiative that uses grants for road improvement projects to prevent children from walking in streets or along train tracks.
According to their website, ODOT will invest a record $11 million in 2010 to make getting to school safer for students in 41 different communities in Ohio.
The $11 million in federal transportation funds to be invested this year will be the most ODOT has invested in the Safe Routes to School program since it began in 2004.
“It will be a good thing,” said Prairie Norton Elementary school secretary, Linda Badger, “I know we would definitely prefer the sidewalk as opposed to the edge of street or in the street or in the road. We have about 25-30 children in our walking area and Woodlawn is one of those streets.”
Prairie Township administrator, Tracy Hatmaker, said other streets already have sidewalks and Woodlawn needs them.
“The Prairie Township/Stiles Elementary Safe Routes to School plan identified Woodlawn as the only Prairie street in its district that didn’t have sidewalks. Since Woodlawn is on the border between the Prairie Norton and Stiles districts, this very well could benefit Prairie Norton students. It will also benefit area middle school and high school students,” said Hatmaker.
The Safe Routes Project gives grant money to Prairie Township to put in the sidewalks.
“The Woodlawn Safe Routes to School Grant will provide $380,000 for sidewalks and curbs. That funding involves no township contribution,” said township administrator, Tracy Hatmaker.
Hatmaker said the $380,000 is only for the sidewalks and curbs on Woodlawn, but Prairie Township will work towards other improvements for the street in the near future.
“We will apply for the street and stormwater repairs this fall in the upcoming round of Ohio Public Works Commission funding. One way or the other, the project will proceed next year,” said Hatmaker.
Hatmaker said additional funding to improve Woodlawn would allow for regrading and repaving the road and improving curbs, gutters and storm sewers.
Also, there have been discussions of speed bumps and other traffic calming methods such as roundabouts being used for Woodlawn at past Prairie Township meetings.
“No decision has been made on traffic calming...If traffic calming features are included, speed bumps will not necessarily be part of the plan,” said Hatmaker.
The sidewalks will be a welcome addition to the layout of the surrounding streets.
“This project complements other sidewalk and road reconstruction projects in the area, which make the area safer for kids to walk to school, while improving the overall quality of neighborhood facilities and services,” said Hatmaker.
|On June 10, 2010 NORI said:
I love the idea to have a sidewalk on woodlawn ave. I live in the street and it has too many kids in the street, people speed alot as if were on the freeway, and kids sometimes dont even pay attention. And not to mention their parents, who 90% of the timedont know were their kids are.
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