“We’ve got a grant (application) in with the Safe Routes to School program to do a variety of improvements,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “We’ve been working on this since 2009.”
The city has submitted grant applications twice in recent years to no avail, according to McGinnis. Each time, the Safe Routes program has asked the city for more information.
“We’ve requested just under $400,000,” McGinnis said of the latest application.
McGinnis said the federal funds would be used to improve walking conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding Mary A. White Elementary and Lakeshore Middle schools.
“That is our initial area of emphasis,” he said.
Items that would be changed include more visible crosswalks, better lighting and new signs, and physical improvements to road intersections.
McGinnis said one of the concepts being discussed is the idea of having crosswalks with signs that illuminate when a child is crossing the street. These flashing signs would illuminate when a child presses a button on a pedestal.
“It will only happen when someone crosses the street,” McGinnis said. “We want our kids walking to school — it’s safer.”
When the work would be done is dependent on when, and if, the city wins the grant funding for it.
“If we were going to do these improvements, it’d be late 2014 (at the earliest),” McGinnis said. “More like spring 2015.”
Local school officials say they like the work that the city is putting into such projects.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.