Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program Grant to benefit Elementary Schools in Soledad and Greenfield
The Monterey County Health Department has been awarded $150,000 as part of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. This grant will bring pedestrian safety education to schools in Soledad and Greenfield. The yearlong grant start date was on November 13, 2019 and will benefit 3 elementary schools in Soledad – Frank Ledesma, Rose Ferrero, and Jack Franscioni and 2 elementary schools in Greenfield – Cesar Chavez and Mary Chapa. The grant will also benefit the community members of Gonzales.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program Grant aims to encourage parents and students to walk or bike to school. Walking to school is an activity that benefits the families by including physical activity and the opportunity to meet other parents. The efforts also aim to reduce pedestrian injuries in the participating cities which had a total of 20 pedestrian collisions recorded by the police in 2018. Sadly, half of the collisions involved children under the age of 18.
The grant efforts will bring pedestrian safety education to grades 2nd through 5th. Topics will include looking in all directions, listening and watching for cars when crossing the street and making eye contact with drivers. This type of education is usually provided only to 2nd graders. However, due to with the high number of pedestrian collisions in the cities of Soledad and Greenfield, pedestrian safety education will be extended to 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.
Special walk to school events will be held throughout the year to encourage students and parents to walk instead of drive to school. An additional benefit of the effort will be a reduction in automobiles driven and less traffic on local roads.
Funding for this grant is from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.