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Home > Safe Routes Home > Maine Safe Routes to School - Infrastructure Improvements

Maine Safe Routes to School - Infrastructure Improvements

Engineering approaches can improve a child’s ability to walk or bike to school safely. Engineering is a broad concept used to describe the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of traffic control measures, including low-cost as well as high-cost capital measures.

The Maine Safe Routes to School Program encourages communities to consider how they can make walking and bicycling to school safer through engineering improvements. The most successful walk and bike to school efforts combine improvements to the infrastructure around schools with programs that encourage children to walk and bike.

What are some traffic control measures schools can use?

  • Sidewalks and paved pathways, with consideration given to surface composition, placement and width
  • On-street and at-school bicycle facilities (e.g. bike lanes, bicycle parking) that are well marked
  • Crosswalks and other crossing improvements
  • School Area Speed Limit and Signing
  • Connectivity of schools and neighborhoods
  • Traffic calming measures such as speed humps, curb bumpouts, narrow lanes and raised pedestrian crosswalks

The National Center for Safe Routes to School Web site is a great resource with many ideas for infrastructure improvements.

Maine Projects

View some examples of infrastructure changes some schools in Maine have made! For more information about projects previously funded in Maine, visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School Web site and search for Maine.

Funding Options

A sidewalk, shoulder, bike lane, or crossing improvement can be planned as either part of a road project, or as a separate stand alone project. Once a need is identified along a particular road section, a good first step is to see if it can be done as part of an overall road improvement. The municipality may already have plans or may be working with MaineDOT or Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) to get the road fixed. One option would be to work through the transportation planning process to get the road in the budget for improvements, including the needed bicycle and/or pedestrian improvements.

Contact the local public works director or road commissioner to determine whether the road is in need of improvements; it is possible that the sidewalk improvements can be made the next time the road is reconstructed or rehabilitated.

If a bicycle and a pedestrian connection need is identified and it is determined that the associated road is not scheduled for improvements, a community can work towards funding specifically for a bicycle and pedestrian connection. There are a variety of funding mechanisms that are used to create bicycle and pedestrian connections, including Capital Improvement Budgets, bonding, applying for funding assistance from state and federal grant programs, etc.

Visit our Funding Page to learn about funding sources for Safe Routes to School infrastructure projects.

Notifications of Grants: Join our e-newsletter mailing list to be notified when we hear about funding opportunities!