Car accidents are the number one cause of death for young children in New York and in the US. According to a recent study, the likelihood of children getting injured or killed by cars in New York City is much higher in school areas than in other areas of the city. Statistics show that there are 57% more auto accidents and 25% more injuries per mile in streets near schools than in other streets in the city.
Not only to reduce these types of accidents but also to provide children with safe outdoor spaces for activities, less polluted air and a safer area for arrival and dismissal, schools can apply with the DOT to get a street adjacent to the school closed to traffic during school days. However, so far the program has not been really popular with schools. Streets safety advocate say that the difficult application process is the main cause of this low popularity.
Free webinar to launch the new School Street Toolkit
In order to make this program more popular and to develop awareness about it, Transportation Alternatives and Open Plans (Streetblog’s parent company) are organizing a free webinar tonight at 6PM to launch and present their new toolkit to help schools apply for the School Street program.
Why is is so complicated?
To apply for an open street, school administrators will have to follow the following steps:
- Find a street that is suitable for open street
- Determine how the street will be used
- Obtain the written support of community stakeholders
- Figure out cleaning operations
- Mobilize community members
- Install and manage the open street after authorizations have been obtained
- Program activities
This is quite a lot of additional tasks for busy school administrators but the long term benefits of having a street free of traffic next to the school not only can prevent dangerous car accidents but also allow children to have a safe space for outdoor activities.