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After Colonie child hit, changes to crossing
They're called Safe Routes to School grants. One was awarded to Colonie. $188,000, most of which was to be spent at Sand Creek Middle School.
“This program is about making it safe for kids to walk and bike to school easily,” says Carol Breen, spokesperson for the NYS Department of Transportation, which awards the grants. Breen says the program is a real win-win for municipalities.
“Once they get the grant, they need to design a project, get a contractor on board and then build it, and we will reimburse them for all costs.”
Breen says Colonie asked for assistance with the design, which they got. But so far, none of those safety upgrades ever happened.
Around the same time, Bethlehem made a safe routes application, was awarded funding, and completed its project. New sidewalks now line the route to Slingerlands Elementary School. So why the long delay in Colonie?
Colonie public works commissioner Jack Cunningham says it’s not because anyone dropped the ball. They needed to acquire some property, which he says was not easy.
“We were dealing with an estate but then one of the principals in that estate passed away, so it created multiple delays.”
The good news is that the town is finally ready to move forward, adding an 80 foot sidewalk along Sand Creek Road, even new signaling and a crosswalk. Cunningham says it's simply an unfortunate coincidence that it’s happening right after a student was hurt.
“We were still scheduled to award those bids on this Thursday at the town board meeting, and construction is scheduled for July. It will be in place for next school year.”
The fifth grader who was hit Monday morning outside Sand Creek Middle School is said to be doing well, and officials expect her to make a full recovery.