From the news stories it appears that 2016 is going to be the year Seattle really improves pedestrian safety, especially for Seattle students walking and biking to and from school. The first "Safe Routes to School" (SRTS) project launched by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) broke ground in January as a result of the Move Seattle levy supported by voter funds.
In total the SRTS will receive $207 million for the creation of trails and pathways to local schools over a nine-year period.
Safe Route to Mercer International Middle School
Mercer International Middle School's new, completed multiuse trail is the first of 12 safe routes that the SDOT has planned for 2016. The SDOT replaced the path children had to use before, a muddy gravel trail, with a 12-foot-wide paved trail complete with lighting. The SDOT hopes that the creation of the footpath, which connects the school to a pedestrian crossing, will keep children safe from the traffic on the surrounding streets.
Some of the funding for the SRTS projects comes from speed and red light cameras that bring in revenue from ticketing drivers exceeding the school’s 20 mile per hour speed limit. This way, money from drivers acting inappropriately in school areas contributes to the overall safety improvements for schools.
Safety Tips to Share with Schoolchildren
While the SRTS initiatives are a smart approach to improving overall pedestrian safety for schoolchildren (and others as well), they are not a replacement for common sense or educating kids and parents on proper pedestrian practices.
To keep children safe while walking or biking to school, parents need to teach them basic safety rules. Parents should always ensure that children know pedestrian safety tips, such as using the buddy system to stay safe. If at all possible, parents should never let their children walk alone.
Kids who bike to school also need to be made aware of the rules of the road. Be sure to share these bike safety tips with your children before they head off to school tomorrow. Be sure to follow the tips yourself whenever biking with your children; if you make safety cool, children will be more likely to follow the rules.
Even with the best of intentions, sometimes accidents happen and children get hurt. If your child sustained injuries in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, get the legal help you need to navigate the complicated recovery process. Talk to pedestrian accident lawyer Max Meyers from Max Meyers Law PLLC to figure out your options. Contact us today at 425-242-5595.