Last summer the Tribal Planning Office collaborated with Yellowhawk’s Community Health program and the Nixyáawii Community School to collect input from the community on where safety improvements are needed in the community to serve walking and biking students. The Planning Office applied for the ODOT Safe Routes to School Grant, and won an award of $1 million to construct three of the high priority features:
- Crosswalk improvements to the corners of the Mission Road and Highway 331 intersection
- A bicycle and pedestrian path along the west side of Highway 331 from Mission Road to Timíne Way
- School Zone safety signs along Timíne Way
The Covid-19 pandemic made community input collection challenging, what started as a plan to share visual surveys in the lunchroom and visit the PTA was reduced to a virtual map survey. When gathering restrictions lift, the Planning Office hopes to collect additional input from students, parents and family members, and teachers, and to update our Transportation System Plan with a chapter on student transportation safety priorities. This will allow the CTUIR to apply for grant funds again in the future to continue making the community safer for students.
Randall Melton, the Nixyáawii School Board Chair who supported the grant application effort, is thrilled to see this project moved to construction so quickly. “The Safe Routes project will further the CTUIR’s effort to provide designated and safe pathways for our student to get to and home from school. It will also encourage healthy habits such as biking, walking, and running with upgrades to curb ramps, sidewalks, and bike paths,” Says Randall.
Expect to see construction starting this summer for the new Safe Routes to School trail! The Tribal Planning Office hopes to complete construction by the summer of 2022.