St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Three southeast Minnesota communities received grants from the Minnesota Department of Transportation that support the Safe Routes to School program.

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Rochester, Hayfield, and Red Wing were among the nearly 180 communities around Minnesota that will benefit from over $8.2 million in planning, programming, and infrastructure grants.

The City of Hayfield received a grant for planning assistance. Rochester Public Schools received a boost grant, while the City of Red Wing received a grant for infrastructure.

The funding is provided for:
• Planning assistance grants provide communities the resources to convene a team, understand key issues, prioritize strategies and identify solutions that fit their local need.
• Boost grants help enhance existing local programs. Past examples of this include funding for bike fleet with a trailer to teach children how to ride, or funding for bike parking.
• Infrastructure grants provide construction funding for projects that promote and encourage more students to walk or bicycle to school. Ways to make these routes safer (and more accessible) include adding sidewalks, trails, crosswalk markings, flashing beacons and other traffic control devices.

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 the added benefit of increasing physical activity and student health.

“Thousands of school children now have more opportunities to walk and bike to schools because of the Safe Routes to School program,” said Nancy Daubenberger, interim MnDOT commissioner. “More students walking and biking means less traffic on the road and near schools, improving safety and promoting healthier kids.”

The Safe Routes to School grants in this solicitation are funded with state and federal Safe Routes to School dollars. Historically, nearly 70 percent of these funds have supported work within Greater Minnesota communities.

Since 2005, MnDOT awarded more than $50 million in federal and state funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School. The majority of funding was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder was allocated for programs and planning that promote walkable and bikeable communities.

The list of the 2022 grant recipients is below:

Planning Assistance
• City of Hayfield
• Burnside School
• City of Brooklyn Park
• City of Graceville
• City of Madelia
• City of Tracy
• Como Park/Saint Paul Public Schools
• Farmington Public Schools
• Harding High School and Nokomis Elementary/Saint Paul Public Schools
• Lake of the Woods
• Mahtomedi Schools ISD 832
• Minneapolis Public Schools
• Mississippi Creative Arts School/Saint Paul Public Schools
• Pelican Rapids Public Schools
• Pequot Lakes Public Schools ISD 386

• Rochester Public Schools
• Blue Earth Area Schools - Community Education
• Fergus Falls School District
• Independent School District 318
• Independent School District 728
• Minneapolis Public Schools
• New Ulm Public Schools ISD 88
• Richfield Public Schools Independent School District #280
• Safe Kids Grand Forks
• Saint Paul Public Schools
• Underwood School

• City of Red Wing
• City of Arden Hills
• City of Brainerd
• City of Coon Rapids
• City of Duluth (Lincoln Park)
• City of Edgerton
• City of Edina
• City of Jackson
• City of Lakeville
• City of Mahnomen
• City of Minneapolis
• City of Monticello
• City of North Branch
• City of Richfield
• City of Saint Paul
• City of St. James
• City of Tyler
• City of Warren
• Dakota County (Inver Grove Heights)
• Gideon Pond Elementary (Burnsville)
• Lac qui Parle School District (Appleton)
• Sibley County (Gaylord)
• Washington County (Cottage Grove)

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