The Town of Apple Valley has been awarded funding for a grant that will improve transportation routes for students traveling to and from school. The grant will focus on “high risk” schools and their surrounding roads, enabling more students to safely walk or ride their bike to class. The grant does not provide funding for any construction to take place, however, it will allow an evaluation for 10 K-8 grade schools that will focus on the risks and options necessary to improve these routes.

“The Safe Routes to School program through Caltrans has been an important funding resource for the Town through the years,” said Mayor Larry Cusack. “This master plan will give us a great advantage to getting even more grants in the future.”

Most streets in Apple Valley, including school routes, do not have sidewalks or bike lanes. The grant will fund a Town-wide master plan serving the 10 K-8 campuses, as well as develop a Safe Routes to Schools Coalition and other risk analysis and community workshops. A planning consultant will oversee the process in which the Town and Apple Valley Unified School District will achieve a unified goal of addressing the schools who are the most in need of these resources.

“One of the Apple Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees’ goals is to provide a safe and secure learning environment,” said Superintendent Tom Hoegerman. “The School District and Town of Apple Valley have partnered in many ways to provide student safety. This planning grant is just one more example of the great relationship between the Town and the School District, as we enhance a “Better Way of Life” through the development of Safe Routes to School.”

The proposed Safe Routes to Schools master plan will provide the first step towards improving the everyday lives of Apple Valley students and allow additional, safer, routes to and from school. Only 36% of the 141 applicants were selected, for a total of $9.8 million in this highly-competitive statewide program.

This planning effort will position Apple Valley for a number of funding opportunities in the future regarding the infrastructure near our schools.