NASHVILLE â€“ The City of La Vergne will receive $155,674 for â€śSafe Routes to Schoolsâ€ť improvements at five local schools, State Sen. Bill Ketron announced Wednesday.
The Safe Routes to School program is a statewide initiative designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer, more appealing and healthier alternative for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) has led the charge to create healthier choices for Tennessee children, sponsoring major initiatives calling for increased exercise programs in the stateâ€™s K-12 schools.
â€śTennessee is among states that have the highest risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke â€¦â€ť Ketron said. â€śThe Safe Routes to School program is a very good way to encourage children, and their parents, to walk or bike to school, which is an optimal form of exercise.â€ť
City of LaVergne will use the Safe Routes to School funds to construct more than 1,000 linear feet of sidewalk on Floyd Mayfield Drive. The sidewalk will allow kids to walk to several schools, including LaVergne Primary, Roy L. Waldron Elementary, LaVergne Middle, LaVergne Lake Elementary and Rock Springs Elementary Schools, and will also connect to Veterans Memorial Park.
The city has a master sidewalk plan that complements the Safe Routes to School program, which is to improve walking and biking conditions by providing a safe and fun atmosphere for pedestrians and bikers.
The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The projects awarded through these grants are funded for this purpose through SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act), the federal surface transportation program.