Penticton and South Okanagan
Traffic calming for Penticton school
Sep 25, 2013 / 4:00 pm
Parkway Elementary principal Kelly Jones has used his own methods to slow traffic next to the school for years.
So he was happy to hear the news this week that Penticton Council has approved traffic calming measures for the school.
"We are very pleased with the decision and feel it will keep our kids safe," he said.
The first stage of the measures, estimated to cost $56,500, will include installing delineators and temporary speed humps to slow traffic.
Some changes to the plan resulting from recent public consultation are putting in temporary speed humps at the east and west end of the school zone on Kinney and at the south end of the zone on McGraw, adding a tag on the no parking signs to indicate this area can be used for pick up and drop off of students and completing an analysis at the intersection of McGraw and Kinney to see if a three way stop sign is required.
Parkway has pushed for the measures for years, after a grade 5 student was hit by a vehicle in the middle of the crosswalk and seriously injured.
School personnel have also almost been hit on numerous occasions while putting out safety cones and the school's safety signs placed by staff in the middle of the road have been hit and destroyed by passing vehicles several times.
The city has long been aware of the problems, and along with the school's PAC helped fund a speed reader board for Parkway.
This summer, the staff decided to move ahead with the first phase of the project, but when some neighbours expressed concerns, a public meeting was held on Sept. 9.
Feedback from that meeting helped staff decide what to initially move ahead with.
The work is expected to begin this fall, said Mayor Garry Litke, who has been a staunch supporter of the measures.
"Work is expected to begin as soon as possible," he said. "
Anything we can do to improve safety for children going back and forth to school is a plus."
Should the temporary measures prove to be effective, and pending budget approval, a second stage would be implemented, which would see those measures replaced by concrete and asphalt.
For parents with children at the school, implementation of the plan can't come soon enough.
"I think people are absent minded when they are driving, and might not realize they are in a school zone," said Erica Fulford. "So this makes me feel better as a parent who has kids who walk to the school."
Jones believes the measures will work and hopes they will be implemented at other schools.
"This is a trial period, and we believe at the school level it will be successful," he said.
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