Blan eyes Safe Routes to Schools

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — A resolution approving the Safe Routes to School projects passed during Tuesday night’s Blanchester Board of Education meeting.

The project is the written document that outlines a community’s intention for enabling students to engage in active transportation as they travel to and from school — riding bikes or walking to school instead of motor vehicle transportation. This is a collaboration between the school, the village and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Blanchester resident Richard Braley has been advocating for this program for years. The reason is because he wants to see it grow.

“My heart is in this village,” said Braley. “I want to see it move forward, not backward.”

Braley, who previously spoke about the program at the November school board meeting, said that construction is down the road, but right now they need to set up a plan. The program is created through a team-based approach that identifies the barriers to active transportation and formulates a set of solutions and countermeasures.

“We did one in 2012 and they applied for infrastructure money at the time. It wasn’t approved by the state, and the state didn’t tell us,” said Braley.

According to him, the benefits of this project include further funding, a greater community awareness around travel issues, and “it’ll create new partnerships between the school, families, local officials, transportation professionals, police, health advocates and the community at large.”

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574