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Monday, June 18, 2007

Crosswalks and Kids on Metro

This question was in the Getting There section in the PI (which answers traffic questions). It has relevance to the district's move to Metro for all high schoolers (and perhaps, eventually, middle school). The part of the answer that is telling (the question is about crosswalks at Ingraham High School):

"Della, separately responding to Collier, said current city policy is for painting crosswalks around elementary schools and not near middle schools or high schools. Hirakawa says this is based on middle and high school students' better understanding of traffic dangers. Della said he'll ask about the pros and cons of adding middle and high schools and work on the issue with the council's Special Committee on Pedestrian Safety."

Well, the kids may be older and understand the dangers but I wouldn't say that makes them less likely to take chances. Dropoing an e-mail to members of the City Council on this issue might be a good idea. If the district wants this policy, then the district and city should be urged to make it as safe as possible.

3 comments:

Jet City mom said...

Only in Seattle would we argue that not having crosswalks would increase pedestrian safety.

I don't believe there are sidewalks along Meridian, on the east side of the school, but a crosswalk is a well known indicator to watch for pedestrians. There should be signs indicating crosswalk ahead as well as crosswalks where needed and reminders to slow down in school zones.

Additionally, it is in a residential neighborhood, and Id like to hear what the neighborhood thinks about Dellas reasoning.

( Some schools not only have crosswalks, but speed bumps-and reflective markings)

Anonymous said...

Yes, actually studies do not demonstrate that painted crosswalks increase safety and in fact sometimes work against safety. There are better solutions, including having flexible signs in the middle of the street that practically force drivers to pay attention and slow down. There was a meta-study with lots of data analysis based in some Scandinavian country that I found when researching this a while ago. Don't have time to dig it out now, but it is google-able.

Seems like every winter I read about local teens, both as pedestrians and while waiting for a bus, getting hit by cars in the early morning darkness. At least elementary school kids aren't walking to school or waiting at bus-stops before dawn.

Jet City mom said...

In Wallingford, the Central District and other neighborhoods across Seattle and the rest of King County, pedestrians know they are at risk. The streets and traffic here are much too mean, particularly along the arterials.

A 2005 study for Public Health-Seattle & King County found pedestrian deaths account for nearly 20 percent of traffic fatalities here, compared with just 12 percent statewide and 11 percent nationally. Annually, the county has about 25 to 30 pedestrian deaths, with about half occurring in Seattle.


whatever we are doing- it doesn't seem to be working
http://www.feetfirst.info/
I have heard of many families opting to put their kids on yellow buses because they don't want them walking to schools that are closer.