The city of Indio has been awarded funding through Caltrans’ Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Master Plan. Projects funded by this program aim to support the Caltrans mission statement: Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.
For the city of Indio, the grant will fund a comprehensive SRTS Master Plan, which provides a clear and comprehensive framework for safety improvements around schools. The plan focuses on non-motorized transportation options within a one-half mile radius around the 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools located in the city of Indio.
The city of Indio SRTS Master Plan is a collaborative effort led by the city, along with partners from Desert Sands Unified School District, Coachella Valley Unified School District and the Riverside University Health System Public Health Department.
“We have been working with the communities throughout Riverside County to provide the Safe Routes to School Program, focusing on education and encouragement to walk and bike to school safely. These efforts help to support and strengthen engineering improvements at the schools,” said Marsie Rosenberg Gutierrez, Program Coordinator II, Riverside University Health System, Public Health.
The city of Indio SRTS Master Plan is part of a national movement to improve walking and bicycling to schools. According to the 2015 Active Living Resource’s Impact of SRTS Report, a study of 800 schools found engineering improvements, such as intersections and sidewalks, were associated with increasing walking and bicycling by 3.3% per year, amounting to a relative change of 18% over five years.
“It is important for our SRTS Master Plan to be successful, effective and reflective of our unique community and students. So, the city of Indio will be engaging the schools, neighborhoods and the community throughout the planning process,” said Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes.
By developing a SRTS Master Plan, the city will be positioned to apply for grants in the future, in order to implement the recommended safety improvements at the schools.
For questions, please contact Toyen Blake, Assistant Engineer, at (760) 391-4068, or email IndioSRTS@gmail.com. For more information and to receive project updates, check the Indio website, Indio.org, or follow the city on social media at @CityOfIndio or @IndioSRTS.