Kids safety push

A BAYSWATER councillor is hoping parents will get their kids out of the car and walking and riding to school if their routes are made safer.

Last week Cr Elli Petersen-Pik successfully moved for the council’s administration to prepare a report on a staged “safe routes to school” program across the city.

It would see pedestrian-priority crossings, upgraded footpaths, shady trees and facilities for pedestrians and bikes along major access routes to the city’s schools.

Parents

Cr Petersen-Pik said only a few hardy souls rode or walked to school, with parents citing road safety fears as their biggest concern.

“A lot of parents have spoken to me about wanting to feel safer walking or cycling with their kids to school, and even, at some point, feeling confident enough to allow their kids to walk or bike to school by themselves,” he said.

“Another benefit would be a reduction in traffic congestion around schools during drop-off and pick-up times.”

• Bayswater councillor Elli Petersen-Pik with Kate, Oscar and Finn Brill and Kaylie Morphew, who’d all like a safer walk to school. Photo by Steve Grant

Cr Petersen-Pik said Maylands Peninsula primary school had been chosen for a trial because parents were keen and the area was expecting the biggest population increase in the city over the next decade.

Kate Brill and Kaylie Morphew walk their kids to the school, but describe it as “running the gauntlet” because crossings often don’t line up.

“Then we come down and we use these crossings which are at the school, which look like crossings and the kids think that they’re crossing, but we have to tell them all the time that they’re not crossings and the cars don’t have to stop,” Ms Brill said.

“Only a daily basis you’ll see kids in precarious situations.”

Ms Morphew said there were no safe crossings at the busy intersection of Susan and Caledonian streets on her way to school, and agreed the faux crossings in front of the school have made the kids a bit complacent.

Zooming

“The parents that come here will stop their cars, but tradies and people on their bikes will come zooming past, so it just creates that danger zone,” Ms Morphew said.

A petition urging the council to support the plan has just popped up at
http://chng.it/Hj9Wymzttx

by STEVE GRANT

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