When our City Council approved Vision Zero, with the long-term goal of having zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, we knew it would require a multidimensional approach from the City and Edmontonians and I am happy to report we are making progress, particularly when it comes to school safety.
Keeping students and their families safe as they travel to and from school is so important and in 2016 the City undertook a number of improvements at Edmonton schools:
- Traffic safety assessments were conducted at 13 elementary schools to observe road user behavior and new countermeasures were installed in September 2016. Countermeasures included new zebra crosswalks, new stop signs with retro-reflective poles, reflective strips on pedestrian signs, and upgrading from yield signs to stop signs.
- Starting in 2016, a pickup/drop-off zone will be implemented at one school every year. In 2016, St. Justin School received a pickup/drop-off zone.
- Prohibiting left turns from school parking lots was implemented at two schools.
- In October, City Council approved the expansion of 30 km/hr school zones to include Edmonton’s 43 junior high schools. This new speed limit will be in place for all junior high schools by September 2017, when students return to class.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of school zones
In 2014, 30 km/hr school zones were implemented for Edmonton’s elementary schools. Our evaluation of these 30 km/hr school zones showed significant safety improvements, including:
- 43 percent reduction in injury collisions
- 71 percent reduction in injury collisions involving vulnerable road users
- 12 km/hr reduction in vehicle speeds
Many great improvements have been made and we will continue this work throughout 2017 to make Edmonton’s streets safe for all road users, especially close to schools. For more information on Vision Zero, visit edmonton.ca/visionzero and follow @VisionZeroYEG on Twitter.