Fall 2001, p.15

The Bronx Safe Routes to School Passes Torch to DOT

Earlene Wilkerson was volunteer of the month before working for T.A. Her favorite part of the job was visiting schools and neighborhoods.Since 1997, The Bronx Safe Routes to School has been working with communities all over The Bronx to improve walking conditions around schools. Now, thanks to T.A.'s pioneering work in The Bronx, walking to school is about to become safer for kids in all five boroughs. This fall, the Department of Transportation began its own $2.5 million School Safety Engineering program to improve safety around schools in all parts of the city. The program includes the traffic calming plans already developed and supported by the 38 schools in The Bronx Safe Routes to School Program. The new School Safety Engineering Program will look at traffic calming measures, which T.A. has been championing for years, such as raised crosswalks and mini traffic circles. With the City taking on the mantle of Safe Routes to School, it's time to say goodbye to The Bronx Safe Routes to School program. Transportation Alternatives is proud of our partnership with The Bronx Borough President, Fernando Ferrer and The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, and of the many pedestrian safety innovations established in The Bronx through the Safe Routes to School program. The parents, elected representatives and teachers who have worked for these improvements share equally in these accomplishments.

New Program

The city has hired RBA Group, an engineering firm with experience in traffic calming, to run its new school safety initiative. Here's an overview of the School Safety Engineering program:

  • All 1359 NYC schools, public and private will be involved in the project. The project will study traffic conditions around each of the schools.
  • 135 (10% of NYC schools) will be targeted for "priority treatment" based on crash numbers and rates, making sure that priority treatment schools are evenly distributed around the city, and among school types. Dangerous locations at these schools will be identified.
  • 32 schools will be "capital improvement" schools. Traffic calming engineering improvements will be built on the streets around these schools.
  • The project will work with schools, parents and community, as well as other agencies.
  • DOT's School Safety Engineering will use this project to create a "toolbox" of measures the City can use to improve safety at all schools.

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