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Rowan Elementary School Safe Routes to School Ribbon Cutting

Hattiesburg-The City of Hattiesburg along with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will unveil the completion of a project on Wednesday that aims to make children safer as they walk to school. The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m., at Rowan Elementary School.

The SRTS Program enables and encourages children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike to school. The program will also aid the City in the fight against obesity as it encourages healthy and active lifestyles among children at an early age.

Mayor Johnny DuPree, Hattiesburg City Council members, MDOT Commissioner Tom King, Representative Toby Baker and Hattiesburg Public School District Superintendent James Bacchus will speak at Wednesday’s event.

“Our children are very precious to us; therefore, we are always seeking opportunities that afford us a chance to not only protect them but also enrich the quality of their lives,” said Mayor DuPree.

MDOT awarded Hattiesburg $279,570 in March 2009. A total of $219,370 was used for preliminary engineering/design and construction of sidewalks in the vicinity of Rowan Elementary School. Specific locations of sidewalks included Ruby Ave., Cypress Ave., and Ashford St. Crosswalks were striped and signage installed as well. The remaining funds were used to complete a circulation study at all of the Hattiesburg Public Schools’ elementary schools; education (pedestrian safety skills training), encouragement (participation in International Walk to School Day) and enforcement activities in the elementary schools, with a focus on Rowan; and complete evaluation of the project and usage of the new routes.

When the application for this project was submitted, Rowan had 176 students living within a ½-mile radius of the schools and 268 students within one-mile radius. One hundred and ten of these students were walking on a regular basis.

For more information, please contact MDOT Commissioner Tom King’s office at 601.544.6511 or City of Hattiesburg Public Relations Coordinator Chinika Hughes at 601.545.4508.