October/November 1999, p.12

DOT Commissioner Supports Safe Routes to School

In August, DOT Commissioner Wilbur Chapman invited The Bronx Borough President's Office and Transportation Alternatives to discuss The Bronx Safe Routes to School program and how to improve coordination with the DOT. At the meeting, Chapman asserted his personal commitment to making streets safer for children pedestrians and commended the Safe Routes program. The meeting also included a discussion of the DOT's "Safety City" education program for third graders. Dr. Illona Lubman, Director of Safety Education, and creator of the Safety City program, also attended the meeting.

Having seen his own daughter struck by a car several years ago, Chapman said that he was committed to doing everything within his power to improve child pedestrian safety in New York City. He told T.A. that, in addition to their work with Safety City, the Department of Transportation is planning to install speed humps around every elementary school in the next few years. Given the number of outstanding requests for speed humps in residential neighborhoods, a separate program to install them around schools would hopefully free up resources for more residential traffic calming.

The Safe Routes to Schools program currently has fully developed traffic calming plans for 25 Bronx elementary schools. This year, the program continues to expand by adding 12 more schools who will work with the Safe Routes to School program to develop ways to reduce dangerous traffic conditions along their routes to school.

Walking school bus shuttles children across the Grand Concourse in the Bronx to
Our Lady of Refuge - one of the first participating Safe Routes schools.

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