Brookville to ask ODOT for funds to improve student safety

Local News

BROOKVILLE, Ohio(WDTN)- At a special commission meeting Wednesday, Brookville council members agreed to ask the Ohio Department of Transportation for funding to fix some dangerous high traffic areas around their schools. City Manager Gary Burkholder said this funding this crucial to keeping kids safe. 

Burkholder said there are some spots around their schools have been problematic for some time but there hasn’t been enough funding to address them. It’s why the city is asking ODOT for more than $312,500 in funding to improve safety.

The money would come from ODOT’s Safe Routes to School program. The grant program provides funding to cities looking to make improvements for students who walk or bike to school.

“We’ve been working on this project for several years. It was brought to our attention by a citizen who talked about the kids who were walking in the yards and in the street,” Burkholder said.

Brookville has identified five high priority locations around their schools for improvements. Parents could see new sidewalks where there are none, more visible crosswalks and in some cases crosswalks relocated.

Crosswalk improvements could be made on Westbrook Road at Johnsville Brookville Road and Arlington Road, Johnsville Brookville Road at Blue Pride Road, Western Avenue at Blue Pride Road, and Westbrook Road at Western Avenue. New sidewalk would be installed on Johnsville Brookville Road from Westbrook Road to Blue Pride Road. 

Burkholder said the changes might not be possible without ODOT’s grant.

If the project is approved, there could be more improvements on the way. 

“We’ll be looking towards the second and third phase to try to improve overall safety but also encourage children to walk and bike to school,” Burkholder said.

The city has plans to turn in their application for the grant money to ODOT by Monday. 

If their project is approved, funding for this first phase would become available in 2021. Until then, Burkholder said the city would take time to design their project.

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