SFMTA Continues Comprehensive School Pedestrian Safety Initiatives
Release date: August 17, 2012
*** Press Release ***
Agency adds crossing guards and parking enforcement to make it easier and safer for San Francisco students to walk to school
San Francisco—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that as part of its comprehensive approach to improving pedestrian safety citywide the Agency will add second guards for its School Crossing Guard Program at three key intersections: Beachmont Drive and Sloat Boulevard, Dewey Circle and Bacon Street and San Bruno Avenue. Also, the SFMTA will dedicate a Parking Control Officer (PCO) to enforce parking regulations around schools with safety concerns during school hours. When the school year begins on Monday, the new crossing guards will be in place; the increased enforcement will begin in September.
“Transportation research has demonstrated that we can have a positive impact on pedestrian collision rates with careful design, operation and enforcement of the transportation system,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We are committed to working with the school communities to improve safety for our youngest pedestrians.”
The SFMTA’s Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget increases school safety personnel to help further these efforts.
“The School Crossing Guard Program staff work closely with the schools and communities they serve. We are proud to make these funds available in the new budget. By monitoring and enforcing parking regulations around schools during the busy start and end of the school day, we can help everyone have a safe and happy school year,” said Edward D. Reiskin, Director of Transportation.
This month notifications will go out to schools where crossing guards are located. Parking enforcement warnings will also begin prior to citation issuance in September. Enforcement will focus primarily on schools where SFMTA School Crossing Guards are located; however, it will also include other San Francisco schools where parking problems have been documented. Some of the parking problems to be addressed are double parking, illegal parking in the intersection or crosswalk, illegal parking in a school bus loading zone and blocked driveway complaints.
"With school starting, it's especially important to drive carefully, yield to pedestrians and be aware that citywide speed limits around schools are now 15 miles per hour. This is creating safer conditions for children—and for everyone," said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk San Francisco.
The additional crossing guards will each join a crossing guard already at the following locations:
Having a second crossing guard at these locations is a priority due to the high volume and speed of vehicles approaching the crosswalks when children are arriving and departing the nearby schools. The program will be adding additional crossing guards at other locations in spring of 2013 based on similar criteria.
School Safety Zones
In addition to the School Crossing Guard Program, the SFMTA leads various programs and initiatives to improve safety around our schools, including Safe Routes to Schools, crosswalk improvements and lower speed zones for schools.
“More and more children in San Francisco are walking and biking to school, thanks to the efforts of the expanding Safe Routes to School program. We’re glad to see the city increasing safety efforts around schools,” said Kit Hodge, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a partner in the Safe Routes to Schools Program.
In April the SFMTA completed the installation of 15-mile-per-hour speed zones around 181 K-12 public and private schools citywide. To alert motorists to increased enforcement, 803 signs went up around all the San Francisco schools that were eligible under a 2008 state law, which allows the 15-mph zones on two-lane streets for 500 feet around a school.
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