Walking to school is a healthy way for many kids to get their daily dose of exercise. Unfortunately many parents are rightfully concerned about their children’s safety on the city’s streets because of aggressive driver and lack of good pedestrian safety infrastructure. Everyday in front of many city schools you see parents dropping kids off in front of schools even though most live well within walking distance.
In 2004 the DOT began what turned into a 2 year study of Well, the study is now complete and they are planning to implement the changes in late 2007. The study has confirmed that many additional safety improvements are needs near schools to make them safer for kids to walk to school.
From a press release issued by the Mayor’s Office:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein to announce the completion and release of "Traffic Safety Maps" for each of the city’s 1,471 elementary and middle schools following an examination of accident histories around each school, as well as upgraded school crosswalk signs at each school, and comprehensive traffic safety reports for 135 priority schools located around the city. The maps, which identify traffic signals, all-way stop signs, speed bumps, and crosswalks maps, are designed to help students and parents find the safest routes to and from school. DOT will soon begin distributing these maps to schools, and they will also be online at DOT’s web site starting next month. Mayor Bloomberg also announced that DOT has already begun to implement the safety enhancements recommended in the traffic safety reports for the 135 priority schools, and that the City plans detailed studies for 135 additional public, private and parochial elementary and middle schools. DOT will also begin a similar program for 40 high schools in late 2007. Mayor Bloomberg made today’s announcement at P.S. 21 in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx .
We’ll have more on the specifics later in the day.