State government officials say they hope to solve several problems at once by providing money to develop safe routes for kids to walk to school. The Indiana Department of Transportation will award $1.8 million to local communities for projects that will make biking and walking to school safer. The program promotes physical activity and could help reduce obesity rates. Megan Kaderavek is a spokeswoman for INDOT. She says the money can be spent on a variety of projects.
Kaderavek says the program will also help with air pollution and traffic congestion , helping areas in the state that don’t meet clean air standards. Education projects are also available such as “walking school buses,” where parents walk kids to school in supervised situations that keeps kids safe. Applications are available on the agency’s Web site. The deadline for submitting them is June 29, and funds will be awarded in the fall.