School zones to be safer in Fruita

Students should have a safer environment walking or biking to school in Fruita next fall, thanks to a recent grant.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Colorado Safe Routes to School program awarded the city $63,500, and city officials will use it to purchase and install 14 flashing school-zone signals around Fruita’s five schools. The grant will cover the full cost of the signals.

“We’ve been working for several years to improve kids’ safety in walking to school,” City Manager Clint Kinney said.

The school zone signals will be solar-powered and have a programmable timing computer, allowing city officials to adjust the flashers’ operation as needed.

The Colorado Safe Routes to School program received more than $8 million in funds from the national program between 2005 and 2009.

The program promotes safety and education and encourages children to walk or ride their bikes to school for exercise.

A news release from the program indicates childhood obesity rates tripled in the past 30 years.

According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey, less than 16 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walked or biked to school, compared to 42 percent in 1969.


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