By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
MARGATE – Cross County Connection, a nonprofit transportation management association operating in South Jersey, awarded the city silver recognition for its Safe Routes to Schools program, which encourages children to walk and ride their bikes to school on newly improved roadways. Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator Latifah Sunkett presented the silver certificate to the city during the Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday, Nov. 3.
Sustainable Margate Chairman Steve Jasiecki provided Cross County Connection with information about the success of the program in the Margate community.
The city embarked on a multi-year effort to improve traffic patterns around the city’s two public schools. The project was recommended in the 2015 Margate School Travel Plan, the 2016 Margate-Ventnor Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and with input from school and government officials, consultants and the public.
The project was implemented in part with funding from the NJ Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.
In addition to the city upgrading utilities and repaving certain roads, improvements included installing flashing stop signs along Amherst Avenue, changing the direction of traffic on certain roads near Eugene A. Tighe Middle School and painting share the road “sharrows” on crosstown streets. The project also improved walking and bicycle routes between the Tighe School and William H. Ross Elementary School.
Along with engineering and physical infrastructure improvements, the initiative focused on encouraging students to walk and bike to their schools on a regular basis.
The Margate Police Department and school district have collaborated to provide education and training for students to learn the rules of the road when riding their bikes, including sharing the road with motorists.
The Police Department also holds annual bicycle rodeos to improve riding skills, register bicycles and encourage the use of bicycle helmets. The business community has also been an integral part of the bicycle safety program with the Margate Bicycle Shop providing bicycle inspections and tune-ups.
According to Cross County Connection, the organization helps municipalities, county governments and employers provide viable transportation solutions in the South Jersey area.
Copyright Mediawize, LLC 2022