We are a K-8 school with over 960 students attending. Since we started the Safe Routes program we have registered almost 400 students and staff members in the Active4.me program, with 326 scanning in on a regular basis. We have participated in Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day events at school, held bike rodeos, provided free helmets to students in need, and hosted health and wellness fairs with an emphasis on bike and pedestrian safety. All of these things seem to be working for us. As of Friday, November 22, with just over 30 scan days, as a school we have walked over 4600 miles, averted 4070 lbs. of CO2 from being put into the atmosphere, saved 212 gallons of gas, saved over $800 in gas money, and burned over 184,000 calories. This is just by keeping track of the people that have registered with Active4.me. This doesn't include the students that aren't registered for the program or the adults that walk with their kids to school. Even though we have had great success so far, we still need help with a major piece of the puzzle. Crosswalks.
For a school as big as we are, we only have the budget for one crossing guard at our school. That wouldn't be so bad if we only had one major school entrance, but we have more than one. We have three. The pictures of the students crossing are taken from the front entrance of the school. Rose is our crossing guard and she does an excellent job of keeping the kids safe.
The problem is with the entrance at the back of the school. This entrance is where the 6-8 grade classrooms are located, and a lot students enter from this side. There is no crossing guard present, and the crosswalk signs are obscured by trees. There is also a curb that is painted red just beyond the crosswalk that parents who drive their students to school use as a drop-off zone. I have seen many drivers park in the crosswalk to let their kids out of the car then make illegal u-turns. A flashing beacon would help to make drivers more aware that there is a crosswalk that is used by students and their families. It would be especially helpful on foggy days as well. I have included pictures of the crosswalk from both sides of the street, as well as a picture from inside my car so you can see what a driver sees when dropping off or picking up their student from school.
Thank you to Faison Elementary School, Paxson Elementary School, Westfield VIllage Elementary School and Cotswold IB World School for their excellent entries into this contest!