Fruita schools add traffic flashers

Fourteen solar-powered flashing beacons have been installed in and near school zones in Fruita to warn drivers to slow down during student drop-off and pick-up times.

A Colorado Safe Routes to School grant contributed $63,200 to the project, which involved placing flashing units outside Fruita 8-9 School, Fruita Middle School, Fruita Monument High School, Rim Rock Elementary and Shelledy Elementary. The city of Fruita paid the remaining cost of the $84,000 project.

The city received the grant three years ago but installation did not take place until this summer. Fruita City Project Manager Dave McCollough said the delay was due to paperwork and meeting federal and Colorado Department of Transportation specifications, all part of the requirements for using Safe Routes grant funding.

Safe Routes listed the town of Palisade as one of its 2012 grant recipients for $66,186 to improve Brentwood Drive for students walking to and from Taylor Elementary School. The town currently is weighing whether to use the grant or other funds because administrative requirements may increase the project’s cost.

Seventeen Grand Valley schools, including two charter schools and a private school, have flashing units installed to warn drivers they are approaching or are in a school zone. McCollough said the city hosted “bike rodeos” to teach students about safely walking and biking to school and installed flashers to be proactive about safely getting students to and from school.

“It’s about making routes safe to school and making parents feel comfortable,” McCollough said.


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