Last week, Winnipeg Free Press supplement The Times printed an alarming article about the dangerous situation brewing in the neighbourhood surrounding Meadows West School.  Illegal parking and speeding are the main culprits, with one woman being hit while crossing the street recently. Although, police have been handing out $170 tickets this has had little effect in changing behaviour.

Winnipeg School Traffic

And where is all this bad driving coming from?

Mostly from home in the early morning, with parents racing around to get their kids off to school on time.

Parents and school administrators are concerned for children’s safety — especially given some parents are not willing to even acknowledge the problem. Coun. Mike Pagtakhan believes this needs to be addressed through educating parents rather than increases to bylaw enforcement.

“Enforcement may work for that particular offender,” Pagtakhan said. “But the next one may decide to play the lottery.”
He’s definitely on the right track. The traffic and safety problems that surround schools across the nation need more than traffic tickets and school patrols — and even more than just education. This issue is actually more complex — and double parked cars while dropping off children are just the tip of the iceberg.


So what’s a school or community to do?

A multi-faceted approach for a multi-layered problem is what works best. An approach that encompasses the 5 E’s of Education and Enforcement, along with Engineering, Evaluation and a healthy dose of Enthusiasm. School Travel Planning is still relatively new in Canada, but is exactly the type of solution that addresses not only the issues raised in this story, but also improves the quality of life for children attending that school and the surrounding community, while dealing some of the root causes.

Active and Safe Routes to School is working with communities and schools around the province in enabling them to deal with their transportation and health issues through School Travel Planning — a great tool for a some big problems.

Does your neighbourhood have these safety issues during the morning school run?
Are you concerned about what to do?

Let us know what you think!