Evanston police and firefighters were out in force Tuesday morning for the first day of school.
Job No. 1: handing out stickers to kids on foot or on their bicycles, encouraging them to follow safe walk routes to school.
As part of an initiative to improve pedestrian safety throughout Evanston, city officials are trying to teach parents and kids the safest routes for walking to school. Working in partnership with District 65, city engineers studied the traffic patterns around each Evanston school to create a list of safe walk routes, which can be accessed on the District 65 website.
Talk of improving pedestrian safety in Evanston gained After near last May, Ald. Coleen Burrus and others have pushed for the city to improve safety for kids who walk to school.
In June, the city including city engineers, traffic consultants, Evanston police and members of Northwestern University’s traffic safety institute. Among the improvements now planned are LED blinker signs at some school crossings, which are activated by a push button. City staff will also paint school crossings with an image similar to the one on the stickers handed out Tuesday morning, to help kids remember where to cross safely.
Evanston officials shared these tips for parents on the city website:
Walking or Biking:
1. Use the school walk routes.
2. Do not walk on the streets.
3. Always cross the streets at the designated crossing locations and where crossing guards are present.
4. Obey the school crossing guards.
5. Look left and right and then left before stepping out onto the street to cross.
6. Consider a walking school bus or bike-train. Parents share the responsibility of walking or biking with the children in the neighborhood by picking them up and dropping them off along the walk route.
1. Follow the School Speed Limit 20 mph regulations.
2. Respect the arrival and dismissal time street circulation plan for your school. Do not go the wrong way or make u-turns.
3. Drop your child on the curbside adjacent to the school so that they don’t have to cross the street.
4. Do not double park and block vehicle access.
5. Do not park on crosswalks or at No Parking zones.
6. Consider parking a block or two from school and then walking when dropping off and pick up your child.
7. Do not use your cell phone while driving.