New Albany will apply for ‘safe routes’ grant

The New Albany Board of Aldermen voted last week to seek federal funding in order to improve walking and biking paths around the city schools in order to decrease traffic and offer better transportation alternatives.

The grant, offered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation, is part of the national “Safer Routes to School Program,” which Mississippi joined in 2010.
Ward One Alderman Jeff Olson proposed the idea to the board, stating that he felt it was strongly needed around the schools, specifically the New Albany Middle School.
“Traffic around there can get really bad and I think that this grant would give us the opportunity to improve sidewalks in that area and decrease car traffic to make it safer for kids to walk home,” Olson said.

The city could apply for up to $25,0,000, which Olson said could be used to pay an engineering firm to conduct a study and develop a plan of improvement.
Eligible projects must focus on schools that serve students in K-8 grades.
The city has until March 1 to apply for the grant.