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New traffic garden at Dayton’s Gil Lynn Park to offer safe play and traffic safety education for kids

Learning the rules of traffic safety just became a little more fun in Northern Kentucky. Today at 10 a.m., Tri-State Trails and partners will cut the ribbon on a newly installed traffic garden at Dayton’s Gil Lynn Park.

A traffic garden is a scaled-down roadway network with traffic features where children and other new learners can practice navigating streets in a place free from motor vehicles. Funded with a $25,000 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet partnered with Tri-State Trails to implement the project in the City of Dayton.

(Photo from Tri-State Trails)

“Teaching children about traffic safety early in life is an important step in preventing future crashes and pedestrian incidents,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “We’re excited to see how this innovative, hands-on approach impacts young Kentuckians and their families in the Dayton community. This project complements other initiatives the Cabinet is undertaking to equip all road users with a safe, connected, comfortable, equitable, and accessible transportation network.”

“Youth deserve to get safely to their destination without having to get in a car,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins. “Communities need safe spaces where children can learn the skills and gain the confidence they need to be safe road users for decades to come. I’m proud that GHSA and the National Road Safety Foundation can play a role in making biking, walking and scooting safer for Dayton’s children.”

“The City of Dayton – with its partners, Tri-State Trails, Kentucky State Rep. Rachel Roberts, KYTC, and Dayton Independent Schools – is excited to create the first traffic garden in the region in our city,” Dayton Mayor Ben Baker said. “This new park feature will help our children better understand the importance of cycling and pedestrian safety – not only in our city, but anywhere else they may go.”

(Photo from Tri-State Trails)

The traffic garden features a site-specific, colorful design that includes intersections with crosswalks, roundabouts, bike lanes, railroad crossings, a bus station, and bike parking. Children can explore the elements by foot and bike, while adults can gain insight into the needs and experiences of young road users.

“We hope the Dayton traffic garden will help prioritize safety and accessibility, fostering the development of healthier and more equitable communities,” said Wade Johnston, Executive Director of Tri-State Trails. “As more local governments expand their trail and bikeway networks, traffic gardens can play an important role in educating young people how to safely use cycling infrastructure.”

Speakers at the ribbon-cutting event will include Bill Bell, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, Dayton Mayor Ben Baker, and representatives from Dayton Independent Schools, Dayton Park Board, and Tri-State Trails.

City of Dayton

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