Belleville cited for its bicycle and walking safety efforts

Belleville has been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to encourage safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environments for school children.

The township has been awarded bronze-level certification from the New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, funded by the Federal Highway Administration.

In order to receive the certification, municipalities must meet several criteria, ranging from participating in two Safe Routes to School Program events to creating an observation report on busy crossing guard locations to passing a municipal resolution of support.

Belleville has demonstrated that it remains committed to the ongoing mission of the New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program: Encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle by walking and biking to school, building a safer environment for walking and bicycling, teaching safe walking/biking practices and improving behavior of all road users.

“Our children are our most precious resource,” Mayor Michael Melham said. “Nobody knows this better than Dr. Richard Tomko, the superintendent of schools. Keeping them safe as they walk and bike to school is our priority. Participation in the Safe Routes to School Program is a natural extension.”

“If we are going to promote healthy activities, such as walking or biking to school, then we all share a responsibility to make sure the paths throughout town are as safe as possible,” Mark Minichini, Belleville’s chief of police, said.

Minichini said a representative of the Belleville PD will be on hand to accept the award at a statewide award event Dec. 7.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.