Safe Routes to Schools Study Complete

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.

  • crzwdjk

    Here’s an idea: make it a Dept of Education policy to provide bike parking on school grounds, for all schools.

  • Steve

    Thanks for the post, Glenn. Apropos of your last post re: curbside parking, it has occurred to me that schools represent one of the few existing, accepted examples of converting free curbside parking to dedicated public use. If I’m not mistaken, such conversions are one of the steps open to the City under the SRS study/program. So the progam provides a good platform for raising the conversion issue and perhaps even a focal point for conversion efforts.

    Thus far, all of the SRS materials I have seen seem to carefully avoid endorsing kids bicycling to school in NYC (there are pictures of kids on bicycles in a playground on the webpage, but nothing in writing). It will be interesting to see whether any of the “Traffic Safety Maps” to be distributed include bike routes, or take account of bicycle safety data.

  • JK

    This coverage understates the potential importance of Safe Routes to School in New York City — which could be the cornerstone of local traffic calming and pedestrian safety efforts. There is an immense amount of attention on this site about the importance of creating better public spaces as a key political inducement for changing transportation choices. But attractive public spaces pale in comparison to the political power of parents aroused by danger to their children.

  • JK – I’m a big fan of safe routes to schools and for seniors, but there is a lot to digest here. Just flipping through a few plans I like a lot of what I see and I now can see why it took them so long to produce. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to hash this out. My main question is, how long will it take to complete a similar analysis of every school in NYC. 135 every two years is not exactly a fast pace. Parents at other schools should seek to accelerate the process.

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