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Safe Routes to School

In the summer of 2018, Independent School District (ISD) 728 was awarded a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) planning assistance grant to hold a planning workshop and create a plan for three schools in the City of Zimmerman: Zimmerman Elementary, Westwood Elementary, and Zimmerman Middle/High School. This plan provides recommendations for all three schools and the only schools) in Zimmerman.

Looking to the future, Zimmerman and ISD 728 share a vision with the State of Minnesota to create safe, accessible, convenient, and affordable multi-modal transportation opportunities for all. The community hopes this plan will enhance the quality of life for all residents of Zimmerman. Throughout the planning process, stakeholders from key organizations came together to create a team of connected individuals committed o safe walking and biking to schools in Zimmerman.

Here are the status updates of some of infrastructure and non-infrastructure project recommendations:

Infrastructure Projects:

  • Sherburne Co. installed a high visibility crosswalk and signage alerting drivers of crossing at Cty Rd. 4 & 10th St. W.  This crossing of Highway 4 near Casey’s General Store came up a number of times as a major barrier to safe and comfortable walking and biking to school. Because Casey’s is a common destination for students after school, this crossing is often used.  This addition is aimed to increase visibility, safety and comfort for people crossing Hwy 4.

  • Sherburne Co. Public Works and the City of Zimmerman received  a Transportation Alternative (TA) grant which allowed them to directly support the recommendations of the Safe Routes to School Plan including:

    • Upgrading a  pedestrian crossing at County Road 45 and School Drive

    • Construction of a pedestrian path at trail just south of Fremont

    • Construction of a pedestrian path along Zimmerman Elementary School Driveway

    • ADA compliant upgrades to existing crossings

    • Sherburne Co. Public Works submitted an additional TA grant application in October of 2020 to be able to support additional infrastructure programs in the Safe Routes to School Plan.

Non-Infrastructure Projects:

  • Zimmerman Elementary and Westwood Elementary both participated in Walk/Bike to school days in the Fall of  2019 which is a national event that encourages bicycling (or walking to school. 

  • Walking and Bike Route Maps were created to encourage use of safe routes. 

  • ISD 728 designed trail signs for marking the school routes in a neighborhood to the west of Zimmerman Middle/High School and Zimmerman Elementary school. The district is working to fund and produce those signs. 

  • ISD 728 submitted a Safe Routes to School Boost Grant application to the MN DOT in November 2021 which requested funds for a bike fleet, storage trailer, and related safety equipment.  The over $30,000 grant was awarded in June 2022! Below are some pictures of our trailer and bikes along with our phy ed staff training in the Walk, Bike, Fun! curriculum that they will use with our elementary students!

  • 🆕 In July 2023, ISD 728 was notified that we were successful in applying for an additional Safe Routes to School Boost Grant by MN DOT to support the purchase of bike racks that will be placed at the schools around the district. The grant total is just over $15,000! Pictures coming soon!