London ready to start Safe Routes to Schools projects

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By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The city of London is ready to move forward with its Safe Routes to Schools projects.

A federal program administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Safe Routes to Schools promotes walking and biking to school and improves the routes by which students do so.

In April 2011, ODOT granted $253,100 to London for a neighborhood-to-school multi-use path, crosswalk upgrades, and school-zone speed feedback signs. London Safety-Service Director Steve Hume said the goal is to complete all three projects this year.

The 10-foot wide asphalt walking and biking path will run from the back of the Brooks Edge housing development on Garfield Avenue to the middle school on Route 38, adjacent to the right-of-way for the future extension of Keny Boulevard to Route 56. Because the project is on school property, the city must secure permission from the school district to build the path before ODOT can let the project out to bid.

 “I don’t think there’s going to be a problem with it getting approved. It will on the (school) board’s next meeting agenda,” said London City Schools Superintendent Tom Ben.

Upgraded pavement markings, signage and curb ramps are slated for nine crosswalks near the school complex. Flashing LED signs will go in at some locations. The crosswalks due for upgrades are:

• Elm Street (Route 38) at Park Avenue;

• Elm at Garfield Avenue;

• Garfield at Thomas Lane;

• Keny Boulevard at Dorset Drive;

• Park at Hawthorne Avenue;

• North Main Street at Park Avenue;

• North Main Street at Old Springfield Road;

• Lafayette Street at Richmond Avenue; and

• Elm at East High Street.

Also slated for completion this year is installation of two automated speed feedback signs on the two ends of the London City Schools school zone on Route 38. The signs will measure and display how fast cars are moving coming into the zone.

About the Safe Routes projects as a whole, Hume noted, “If bids come in too high (over the $253,100),  we will cut down the scope of the project.” Some crosswalk upgrades would be eliminated, he said.

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