Contact: Darlene Schlicher (615) 741-6336 or email: darlene.sc[email protected]
(NASHVILLE, TN), June 23, 2010 – State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) said today that he has been informed that the City of LaVergne will receive $155,674 for “Safe Routes to Schools” improvements at five local schools. 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. Senator Ketron has been a prime legislative proponent of implementing healthier choices for Tennessee children, sponsoring major initiatives calling for increased exercise programs in the state’s K-12 schools.
“Tennessee is among states that have the highest risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke,” said Senator Ketron. “Promoting healthier lifestyles for Tennesseans can turn these risks around and it begins with helping children make better lifestyle choices. The 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.”
City of LaVergne will utilize the Safe Routes to School funds to construct over 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.