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Sept. 12, 2023

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MnDOT awards more than $700,000 in Safe Routes to School grants

Funding will make it safer for students to walk, bike to school

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Communities from around Minnesota will benefit from $705,000 in programming grants that support the Safe Routes to School program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today.

The grants, awarded through a competitive process, will support 19 school districts, cities, counties and community organizations. A list of the grant recipients is below.

One example of how Safe Routes to School grant funding can impact a community is Rochester Public Schools, which received grant funding this year for a “Fat Tire Bicycle Fleet” of more than 30 different-sized fat tire bicycles and several tricycles. The grant also covers the cost of a trailer for storage/hauling, helmets, bike maintenance equipment, and supplies for a bicycle skills course.

Unlike many traditional bicycles, fat tire bikes can be used year-round and are easier to ride in winter conditions.

“Fat tire bikes are a great way for kids to exercise, have fun, and gain independence with an affordable and eco-friendly transportation option,” said Dustin Morrow, a Safe Routes to School coordinator with Rochester Public Schools. “Hopefully, it leads to exploring our great local trails, too. The Boost Grants offer schools the opportunity to bring a new, engaging PE program to students. A trailer of bikes that can move from school to school means that students at all the middle schools can participate.”

This round of Safe Routes to School grants support plans like the one in Rochester. They are funded with state Safe Routes to School dollars.

Historically, nearly 70 percent of these funds have supported work within Greater Minnesota communities.

Safe Routes to School is an international program to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion around schools. It does this by making it safer and easier for students to walk and bicycle to school, with an added benefit of increasing physical activity and student health.

Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded more than $60 million in federal and state funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School. Most of the funding was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder was allocated for programs and planning that promote walkable and bikeable communities.

More information on Safe Routes to School is available at www.mndot.gov/saferoutes.

Safe Routes to School 2023 Boost Grant recipients:

  • Saint Paul Public Schools - $43,370
  • Bancroft PTO - $17,114
  • Minneapolis Public Schools - $44,050
  • Pedal Power MN - $40,360
  • Rochester Public Schools (RPS) - $50,000
  • Richfield Public Schools ISD#280 - $49,130
  • Roosevelt Elementary - $13,795
  • Winona Area Public Schools - $18,765
  • Farmington Area Public School District - $31,800
  • Elk River ISD 728 - $15,528
  • Burnside Elementary - $38,600
  • Carlton County Public Health and Human Services - $42,100
  • Pelican Rapids School District - $49,980
  • Safe Kids Grand Forks - $49,970
  • City of Lynd - $10,000
  • Albany Area School District and Melrose School District - $47,105
  • Red Rock Central School - $16,600
  • LeRoy-Ostrander Public Schools - $5,510
  • Essentia Health - $20,039