[COLUMBUS, OHIO] Councilmember Elizabeth Brown, chair of the Finance Committee, and Councilmember Emmanuel Remy, chair of the Public Service and Transportation Committee, announced that $2.5 million has been proposed for the installation of new sidewalks around Columbus schools as a part of the 2018 Capital Improvement Budget.
“If we want students to be able to walk in the door ready to learn, we need them to be able to get to the door without anxiety for their own safety,” said Councilmember Brown. “I’m so grateful to the student advocates at Independence High School who highlighted the need for more sidewalks, and to the staffs of the city and the schools who worked together on a plan forward.”
The projects result from the joint work of a City of Columbus and Columbus City Schools team, who used a data-driven process to evaluate the highest safety needs throughout the city. Projects were also screened based on their alignment with citywide priorities like improving access to bus stops, parks, libraries, and employment centers.
“Protecting our youngest neighbors is among the most basic duties of the City,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “I am proud to stand with my fellow members as we work to invest in new sidewalks near schools.”
The schools identified for new sidewalk installations are:
- Independence High School
- South High School
- Lincoln Park Elementary School
- Livingston Elementary School
- Highland Elementary School
- West Broad Elementary School
“I am pleased that we have allocated so much funding towards sidewalks within our great city,” said Councilmember Remy. “As chair of the Public Service and Transportation Committee, I make it a priority of mine to stand behind all efforts that promote and support safe routes to and from school.”
The City also hopes to fund sidewalk improvements at Eakin Elementary through an application for a $400,000 Safe Routes to School grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The funding in this year’s capital budget will be used for initial design work for the installation of new sidewalks, with an additional $2.5 million designated in the City’s capital improvement program each year over the next five years to continue work on the projects.