With Fort Wayne Community Schools students returning to class Tuesday, the City of Fort Wayne has been working this summer to make the transition for students walking or biking to school safer through improvements to intersections, additional crossing guards and maps for parents and guardians to help plan safe pedestrian routes to schools.
“With additional students walking or biking to school this year, multiple City departments have worked to help students arrive at school and go home safely each day,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “The safety of all our City’s residents is a priority for me, so it was important to involve the City of Fort Wayne in helping families make the transition to No Transportation Zones.”
Crosswalk improvements: Almost 150 piano-key style crosswalks, providing improved visibility, at high-volume intersections have been painted with another 42 to be done by next month. An additional 193 traditional crosswalk markings on residential streets are part of this project. Almost 400 stop bars, large horizontal lines in the traffic lane, have been or will be painted.
The City’s Traffic Operations employees painted the intersections manually. The paint for these projects constituted approximately 20 percent of the 2015 pavement markings budget.
The installation of school-zone signage at the District’s 20 elementary schools is nearly complete.
Public Works staff worked closely with the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council and FWCS to identify intersections near elementary schools for crosswalk marking improvements and school-zone signage. The collaboration between the groups began shortly after the district decided early this year to modify bus service.
Additional crossing guards, increased police patrols: The Fort Wayne Police Department added four crossing guards and reprioritized which intersections the guards will be at this year. New locations for the guards this year are:
· Rothman Road and Sunny Lane
· Vance Avenue and Kingsley Drive
· Vance Avenue and Reed Road
· Brooklyn Avenue and Nuttman Avenue
· Brooklyn Avenue and Ontario Street
· St. Marys Ave and Third Street
· Coldwater Road and Essex Lane
· Maplecrest Road and Monarch Drive
· State Boulevard and Florida Drive
· Mildred Avenue and Wells Street
· Osage Street and Main Street
The Police Department also will send its command staff out to patrol in and near school zones for the start of school year.
Maps and outreach to students: The Community Development Division developed maps for each of FWCS’s elementary and middle schools. The maps identify sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic lights and other information to help parents and guardians plan their students’ routes to school. The maps can be found at http://www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/safe-routes.
This fall, Community Development staff with help from the Fort Wayne Police Department will provide outreach to five elementary schools to help students be safe walking and biking to school. The program will mirror the program at Brentwood Elementary this spring for Bike to School Day.
Safety tips: The Police Department reminds parents, students and drivers to exercise additional caution for the first few weeks of school. Parents and guardians may want to walk with their children for the first week of classes and help them to become familiar with their safest route.
Additionally the start times for FWCS schools have changed so drivers will want to pay extra attention when driving in the mornings and afternoons.
“Leave home a few minutes early next week when students return to school,” said Mayor Henry. “The Police Department will have extra patrols out, but our goal is to not need them. Slow down and pay attention to the additional pedestrians and the return of school buses to city streets. We want everyone to be safe.”