Safe Routes Scoop
Overcoming Local Resistance in Brick

viable way for students to get to and from school, as well as demonstrating strong public support for such programs.

 

Eventually, township officials, concerned parents, and other local supporters were able to prevail in gaining acceptance for the plan. Through local meetings and support from Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, the true costs and benefits of the SRTS improvements both for individuals and the larger community became clear and understandable. “Mayor Acropolis pushed for support of the sidewalks despite public opposition because he felt it was the right thing to do,” Paxton said. In a letter to Orion Drive residents who opposed the plan, Mayor Acropolis wrote, “the benefits of this project, providing children with safe modes of travel to school, outweigh any inconvenience to the residents in the area of the project area. My administration and the Township Council are committed to addressing what is best for the residents of Brick Township, especially our youngest citizens.”

 

With the mayor’s support, the SRTS team enabled local support to build naturally through school and public events, eroding resistance and gradually gaining acceptance for new sidewalks and the overall Safe Routes to School program.

 

As Brick’s SRTS program continues, the students at Midstreams should

notice big changes in their travels to and from school. In addition to the sidewalk improvements and modifications to Orion Drive, several worn crosswalks will be restriped.  The official school drop-off area will be redesigned to redirect traffic, making the morning trip to school both easier and safer for all students. According to Paxton, the SRTS team will follow up the sidewalk construction with a non-infrastructure grant to integrate SRTS curriculum and incentive programs for the students. “Most importantly,” she added, “local officials and school leaders will continue to reach out to the community, focusing on educating the public about the benefits of continued improvements to both public safety and to student health.”

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