ISD 882 and City of Monticello Adopt Safe Routes to School Plan
Community collaboration is creating positive change in Monticello!
Following more than a year of cooperative efforts, the Monticello School District and the City of Monticello are pleased to announce the adoption of the jointly-prepared Safe Routes to School Plan. The plan aims to make walking, biking, and rolling more accessible while encouraging health and safety for Monticello students and all members of the Monticello community.
Initial progress toward a community plan began in 2017 when the Monticello School District reached out to city officials with concerns about students’ safety while walking and biking to school along local routes. The two entities began working together to tackle the issue, and invited other partners to share ideas, including CentraCare, Live Wright, and Wright County. The discussions led to the school district’s successful application for a Safe Routes to School Planning Assistance grant, resulting in funds for a year-long planning effort.
The final document is a comprehensive plan that prioritizes actions and education to create safe routes to school for children around the community. The plan includes 13 high priority improvements; two that directly impact the Monticello Middle School, five that directly impact Pinewood Elementary, and six that affect a combination of Monticello High School, Little Mountain Elementary, and Eastview Education Center.
Recommended improvements include a variety of options, such as connecting pathways, building curb extensions, and installing enhanced crossing signs. Beyond infrastructure improvements, the plan also focuses on creating a safer community for all pedestrians through the use of the “6 E’s” of safer routes: Evaluation, Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Equity.
The detailed plan was officially approved by the Monticello School Board at the July 22 meeting, and was accepted by Monticello City Council at the Aug. 12 meeting.
Moving forward, the plan will be used to aid the Monticello School District, in conjunction with the City of Monticello and other partners, to apply for a Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Grant. The grant would provide funds to begin making the recommended improvements.
The SRTS plan will also help the city and school district as they prioritize infrastructure improvements and prepare future budgets.
Monticello School District and the City of Monticello would like to thank everyone who participated for helping to see this process through to fruition.
“To see this plan take shape through the hard work of so many, from inside the district and out, has been incredibly fulfilling,” said Superintendent Eric Olson. “We consider ourselves fortunate to have the partners that we have in this community, and we look forward to continuing to work together to create the best possible community for our students, our families, and all citizens of Monticello.”