Record number of SF students take part in Walk and Roll to School Day

Nearly a year ago, city officials and pedestrian safety advocates began pushing Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in San Francisco by 2024, and the latest related effort was unveiled this morning as part of the international Walk and Roll to School Day.

A record number of participating students, some 14,000 at 84 schools across The City, were expected to walk or bike to their classes this morning.

Also this morning, Mayor Ed Lee announced pedestrian-safety projects near Bessie Carmichael Elementary School at Seventh and Harrison streets near the Interstate 80 off-ramp, an area with some of the worst traffic injury rates and most dangerous corridors in The City.

The projects are a mix of Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools, an international movement to make walking and bicycling safer and more accessible for children.

The intersection where the elementary school is located has a crossing guard, but families have still raised concerns about walking and biking with their children to school, said Walk San Francisco Executive Director Nicole Schneider.

“What we’re working on is addressing intersections near the school from an engineering perspective, so we can help calm traffic and make it safe for the kids whether or not there’s a crossing guard at the intersection,” she said.

The projects breaking ground and the ones already completed will benefit not only the school community but the South of Market neighborhood.

“This is just a rich and vibrant community with so many different types of services and employment opportunities,” Schneider said. “It’s growing and it’s very important that as it grows, it becomes more safe for everyone on foot and bike.”

Safety improvements

Here are the projects planned or completed around Bessie Carmichael Elementary and Middle Schools:

-Leading pedestrian interval at Seventh and Folsom (complete)

-School Zone signage around Bessie Carmichael Elementary (complete)

-Painted bulbouts at Sixth and Howard (complete)

-New signal at Sixth and Minna (planned for October)

-New stop signs and crosswalks in the School Zone (planned for end of 2014)

-Howard lane narrowing, bicycle lane and painted bulbouts (planned for winter 2014-15)

-School Zone signage around Bessie Carmichael Middle (planned)

-Raised crosswalk on Sherman between Victoria Manalo Draves Park and the school (planned)

-Ramp signage to remind drivers exiting the freeway that they are entering a community (planned)

-Daylighting and bulbouts at Fourth and Harrison (planned)

Source: Mayor's Office

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