An Analysis of the Safety Issues Involving Local School Children as Pedestrians

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The New Orleans Public Schools' Department of Planning has been concerned with school children as pedestrians for the past five years. The safety issues include the streets, the drivers, and the children. First, the streets contribute to the hazard because many major streets traverse residential areas; many streets serve as major commuter highways; pedestrian tunnels, pedestrian bridges, and safe sidewalks are lacking; and there is considerable truck traffic. Second, drivers speed through school zones and double park while waiting for their children. Finally, children are often too small to be seen by drivers and cross streets with less discretion than adults. To promote safety, principals should examine school zone signs and report inadequacies; the Department of Planning and principals should identify locations needing flashing lights, one-way streets, and no-parking zones; the Planning Department should minimize student pedestrian crossing of major streets when planning attendance zones; the New Orleans Police Department should expand the enforcement of school zone speed limits; the areas of instruction, curriculum, and staff development should consider pedestrian safety; elementary schools should have a school safety patrol; and New Orleans should found a full-service program of school crossing guards. Three-fourths of the document is comprised of data from a survey of crossing guard programs in 34 school districts in the United States and crossing guard proposal plans at 127 New Orleans public schools.
Ducote, Kenneth J.
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