Safe Routes Project: Dexter Schools

This month, we are delighted to feature a SRTS project in Dexter, MI. Spearheaded by 5 Healthy Towns Foundation  (5HF)— whose mission is to create a culture of wellness and foster sustainable improvements in community health— Dexter Schools were awarded  $216, 895 to make some very necessary infrastructure improvements.

5HF was the backbone of this project, ensuring that the SRTS planning process fit into the community’s larger goal of supporting the village’s complete streets ordinance and strengthening their ongoing effort to create a safe network of access for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages. This project’s first priority added sidewalk on the east side of Baker Road from the School Access Road south to Dan Hoey Road, and a pedestrian refuge island to the north of the school. Their second priority added a sidewalk on the school campus property from Bates Elementary south to connect to an established path that rings the local cemetery, allowing students from the east to travel up Dan Hoey and then follow the new path without the need to go all the way down to the high-volume Baker Road. Dexter’s final priority installed a new crosswalk at the driveway to the east side of the school campus coupled with new sidewalk on the south side of Dan Hoey from that crosswalk to Lexington Road. The project narrowed the wide driveway apron, calming traffic exiting the business adjacent to the new crosswalk and sidewalk.

In addition to the infrastructure improvements, Dexter Schools were awarded $8,895 in non-infrastructure funding to implement a bike train, bike rodeo, and an adult crossing guard recruitment and training program. While there were only two schools joined on this application, the project impacts students at all five of Dexter’s schools on its main campus, and for a very small investment. The Dexter Safe Routes to School project is a success story of a community organization doing the heavy lifting to help a school district and municipality achieve their goals. Congratulations to 5HF and the Dexter Schools!