ACOPTAs Resolution on AISD Traffic Safety
Student Pedestrian Safety is not limited to our PK-6 student populations. Student, parents, teachers, administrators, and communities have expressed concerns over how construction, increased traffic, lunch schedules, and extracurricular activities outside of regular school hours impact the safety of pedestrian traffic adjacent to school campuses served by AISD.
The city practice of school crossing guards at elementary school campuses has mitigated a number of dangers, though there are still elementary school campuses where pedestrian safety is a concern (e.g. South Davis Elementary, Adams Elementary). Additionally, junior high and high school campuses (e.g. Shackelford Junior High, Bailey Junior High, Lamar High School, Arlington High School) where there is not a city-provided crossing guard, or where traffic has exceeded the effectiveness of existing crosswalk infrastructure, require additional controls to prevent injury while crossing streets. (Note – this list of campus examples is not exhaustive – it is a listing of schools with PTA delegations providing examples of safety concerns at the time this resolution was drafted. As a Council, we recognize that there may be additional school campuses with similar situations, or schools where a PTA is not currently in place to assist in the relay of this information).
Traffic engineering technology upgrades are needed to improve city-wide approaches to traffic safety for pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 school children. Changes are needed in the areas of (1) local and school district coordination, operations and policy in the areas of pedestrian safety, (2) traffic engineering, signs and control devices design, and (3) school pedestrian safety education.
The new technologies and design applications currently available have proven to be effective in increasing the visibility of pedestrians in school zones, as well as increasing motorist and pedestrian awareness of safety and compliance with traffic laws. These approaches are cost efficient and are effective in reducing pedestrian fatality and injury to school children and the community at large, when applied uniformly and maintained and reinforced with sustainable safety education and law enforcement.
As Arlington ISD serves communities within the boundaries of several cities (Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens, Grand Prairie, Kennedale, Mansfield, and Pantego), we recognize that this effort may include coordination across serval municipalities; we view the most urgent coordination as being between AISD and the City of Arlington. Though many safety concerns can be mitigated by the district through design and upgrades of student drop-off/pick up areas that reside as a part of the school campus, most pedestrian safety measures must studied, designed, staffed (if applicable), and maintained by the city. The adoption of this resolution and a comprehensive plan of action for the City of Arlington and Arlington Independent School District can result in increased motorist awareness, stronger visual impact of school zones and crossings, higher compliance with traffic laws through education and uniform enforcement, and could ultimately prevent and reduce the injuries to AISD’s pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 school children.
ARLINGTON COUNCIL OF PTAs RESOLUTION ON SCHOOL TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENT
WHEREAS, The Texas State PTA recognizes the importance of promoting school safety policies, educational outreach programs, and implementing traffic and pedestrian safety solutions for pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 school children, parents, and communities; and
WHEREAS, The need for traffic engineering, new safety technologies, education outreach, and the enforcement of safe driving laws are recognized by safety experts as vital to improving safe routes to and from schools by reducing hazards and increasing student, community, and motorist awareness; and
WHEREAS, Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (February 2017) shows that: Texas ranked 3rdhighest in the nation in pedestrian vs. vehicle fatalities and serious injuries; more than one-fifth (21%) of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians; and children 10 to 14 years old had the highest percentages of estimated pedestrians injured (7%) among the different age categories; and
WHEREAS, Safety studies have identified key school pedestrian and traffic safety issues including:
1) unsafe routes to school,
2) speeding/reckless driving in school zones,
3) unsafe parking and drop-off/pick-up practices,
4) school bus loading zone conflicts and double parking,
5) unclear school area signs and crosswalks with low visual impact and recognition,
6) poorly maintained/faded crosswalks and signs,
7) utility construction and street/public works hazards,
8) inadequate crossing guard program funding,
9) lack of sustainable school safety education/staff training, and
10) inconsistent enforcement and parking control intervention; and
WHEREAS, Increased city construction and roadwork, increased traffic on main city thoroughfares and detours, as well as ineffective (or absent) safety procedures and school zone traffic signs/crosswalk markings, contribute to traffic and pedestrian safety risks for school children, and further reinforce the critical need for implementing comprehensive school pedestrian safety improvements,training programs, and operational procedures; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Arlington Council of PTAs and its local units urge the immediate coordination of city and district efforts on behalf of the student populations attending schools within the Arlington Independent School District; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Arlington Council of PTAs and its local units urge the city to work with parents, students, teachers, the school district, local law enforcement, other appropriate agencies, and their school communities to improve traffic and pedestrian safety for children, and identify and improve, where necessary, safe routes to and from schools; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Arlington Council of PTAs and its local units urge its members to work with parents, students, teachers, school district, local law enforcement, other appropriate agencies, and their school communities to identify and conduct pedestrian safety programming.
I SUPPORT THIS RESOLUTION!