Letter to the Editor: Meeker is providing ‘Safe Route to School’

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Over a year ago, several community leaders all sat together at Town Hall to discuss the idea of getting our kids safely to the new elementary school. The Safe Routes To School program, along with the new location of MES, served as a catalyst for a discussion among all invested parties who met on April 7, 2009, to brainstorm about future pedestrian and bike traffic.
It was exciting to have the school board, the recreation board, the county and the town all together and I am grateful that everyone was willing to participate. While it may not have been an overly productive meeting, I am writing to let you know where we stand today with this issue.
As you may have seen, the town of Meeker began construction on May 3 of a new Ute Road with access from Sulphur Creek to the rec center, the county fairgrounds and, of course, MES. There will also be a new intersection on Sulphur Creek that is safer for pedestrians, as well as vehicular traffic.
One of the town’s biggest concerns has been pedestrian safety on Sulphur Creek Road. With the construction of the new Ute Road and intersection, it is planned to also have sidewalks along the west side of Sulphur Creek from Garfield to Shultz Drive.
Becky Niemi, with the town of Meeker, has applied for a Safe Routes To School grant that would provide for up to $1,000 of educational material. She is working with the elementary school to possibly have brochures and an educational segment for parents and students to attend that would encourage safe traffic. The grant would also pay for some advertising to recruit for a Safe Routes To School Committee.
I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued cooperation with such a significant community project as a new school. I commend the school board on their new building and look forward to seeing it become an integral part of our community’s activities.
Mandi Etheridge, mayor
Town of Meeker