With a combination of a grant and partnership between the city of Ashdown, Little River County, and Ashdown Public Schools the three entities were able to provide sidewalks along Locust Street so that students walking or biking to school would have a safe way to travel.
According to Ashdown Mayor James Sutton, “It is a great opportunity to provide students with a safe route to school. It was a collaborative effort of all of us working together to make it happen. It was one of my pet projects and it is great to see it completed. With the sidewalk completion, the street should be resurfaced soon. He also added that six years ago, the grant was applied for through the Safe Route to Schools Program through the Arkansas Department of Transportation, and awarded after reapplying 2-3 years ago. It was an 80-20 grant with the balance being split between the city, county, and school district."
On the U.S. Department of Transportation web site, “Safe routes to School (SRTS) is an approach that promotes walking and bicycling to school through infrastructure improvements, enforcements, tools, safety education, and incentives to encourage walking and bicycling to school. It can be implemented by a department of transportation, metropolitan planning organization, local government, school district, or a school."
Judge Mike Cranford said, “We are elated to be a part of seeing our tax dollars along with grant money being spent in a manor to ensure that our students and citizens are safe if they bike or ride along Locust Street. This community enhancement project is a testimony of collaboration of the city, county, and school working together for the benefit of our citizens."
"It has been a great working relationship between all three entities, and we are so blessed to have such great partnerships with our local and county governments, who all care about the safety and well being of each of our students. The sidewalk will allow our students who live near the school the opportunity to safely walk or bike to and from school without being on the street."