The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) received a $125,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to improve walking and bicycling safety around several schools in San Mateo County.
The grant will be used to support ten elementary schools that were identified through a 2017 equity analysis developed by the County of San Mateo’s Health Policy and Planning Division (HPP) and SMCOE. Each priority school is located in a low-income area where a high number of collisions occurred involving someone walking or biking. The analysis, which culminated in a report titled Creating Safer Streets Near Schools
, was used to apply for the OTS grant in 2018 and again in 2019.
This year’s grant will be administered by SMCOE’s Safe Routes to School program
, which promotes safe alternative transportation for students to and from school. It will be used to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety education, provide school safety kits and bicycle helmets, and give safety presentations within each school community. The program will also use the funds to help increase collaboration between school and city staff on transportation-related issues and encourage schools to participate in safe transportation events such as Bike to School Day and Walking Wednesdays.
The grant is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and awarded to local and state public entities to increase awareness of traffic rules, rights, and responsibilities among various age groups.