MnDOT awards safe commute grant to schools, Vision 2020

Published 10:16 am Friday, May 10, 2013

The Vision 2020 Bike-Walk Committee announced the city of Austin won a planning grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for

Safe Routes to Schools. In total, MnDOT awarded $3.8 million to 61 communities for 2013.

“These projects will help communities increase opportunities for children to walk and bike to school,” said MnDOT commissioner Charlie Zelle. “More students walking and biking means less traffic on the road and in front of schools, improving safety and promoting healthier kids.”

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In Austin, six schools will go through a process with MnDOT consultants to analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions at each school. Sumner, Neveln, Banfield and Southgate elementaries, Holton Intermediate and Ellis Middle School will begin the process this fall.

Austin stands out among the 22 Minnesota communities receiving planning grants because six schools will be served. Most other communities only requested grants for one or two schools.

The Bike-Walk committee, chaired by volunteer Steve Kime, pulled together support from the city engineer and the Austin Public School District to write the grant application.