Through a unique partnership, the City of Germantown and Germantown Municipal Schools have been honored with a grant to ensure safe and healthier ways to walk and bike to school. Through the Safe Routes to School grant, Riverdale Elementary School is receiving some ancillary services, in addition to new sidewalks and bike lanes from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
Riverdale is located in the midst of several older neighborhoods in Germantown, which means that some streets have gaps in residential area sidewalks, or lack them altogether, making it difficult for some students to walk or ride to school.
In an effort to remedy this situation, TDOT has donated over $300,000 to assist in creating safe avenues to promote these healthy modes of transportation for students. This grant will be utilized in infrastructure improvements, new sidewalk construction, bike lane stripping, and crosswalk improvements.
Additionally, TDOT hosted a full-day bike and road safety course at the school, complete with specially-trained TDOT instructors—so they could be more aware of how safely and easily they can walk or bike to school. All students at Riverdale School, K-8, were introduced to some great bike and pedestrian safety tips.
The program also came with some material perks for the school. Over thirty bright orange safety/crosswalk vests, with which the school plans on starting a student led safety patrol, were also donated, along with traffic cones, hand-held stop signs, walkie-talkies, bike helmets, flashlights, and whistles—all to help Riverdale take the Safe Routes to School initiative even further. Over 1,200 students were given their very own draw string bag at the end of the special TDOT course.
“It is the hope of GMSD Coordinated School Health Supervisor’s that the addition of biking and walking lanes and safety equipment will encourage more students to take advantage of the healthy habits liking walking or biking to school,” said Brian Fisher, GMSD’s Coordinated School Health Supervisor on the exciting project.