Getting kids to school safely

June 2018 – For the past year, the MPO’s School Transportation Working Group (STWG) has been providing stakeholder input on the development of the methodology, screening criteria and selection of the Top Ten Schools for field reviews. During May, the MPO committees and School District Transportation Committee favorably received the final draft of the MPO School Safety Study and Top Ten Report. The report will be presented to the MPO Board July 31, 2018.
The School Transportation Working Group was also treated to a presentation of the Coleman Middle School Road Safety Project by 6th graders Keely Lueckeman, Sophie Sollenberger, Jack Watkins, and 7th grader Clara Hinsdale. The project was developed and designed to encourage students to observe traffic rules while reaching Coleman Middle School by foot or bicycle.

The Coleman Road Safety Project was initiated by Sidewalk Stompers, a school zone pedestrian safety advocacy group and recipient of the Planning Commission’s 2017 Planning & Design Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. The Coleman Road Safety Project students is a reward-based program for students on foot/bike. Starting in January 2018, Roadwise Champions present “Roadwise Awards” to Coleman students that:

  • cross at a crosswalk,
  • wait for a light or walk signal, if available,
  • use sidewalks, if available,
  • do not text while walking,
  • do not cut through parking lots, the bus ramp, or traffic;
  • and wear a bike helmet while crossing the roads around the school safely before school.

The Champions are Coleman student volunteers and parent volunteers. The group has used community engagement to collect the prize donations of student rewards. The student presenters were accompanied by their sponsor, Robert Pechacek, Student Government Advisor, Asst. Principal Nannette Harvey and parent volunteer, Trang Burnett. In addition, they receive support from the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).

The STWG was excited to see Coleman busy implementing the Education/Encouragement piece of safe routes to school concepts. The student’s work complement’s the primarily Engineering/Enforcement solutions proposed in the MPO School Safety Report.

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