Students To Survey, Report On Pedestrian Safety Around Richmond High
April 12, 2007
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Students at Richmond High School (RHS) have volunteered to participate in a two-day "Walkability Workshop" April 16 and 17 that will conclude with a "walk audit" of the pedestrian safety conditions around their school.
The workshop will begin Monday, April 16, with a dialog at the school between students and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) professionals about pedestrian safety issues as they apply to Richmond. The walk audit will be April 17.
"The students know from personal experience walking to and from school how safe or unsafe it is; we will share information about how it can be made safer. I think it will be a really worthwhile collaboration," said Nancy Baer, manager of CCHS' Injury Prevention and Physical Activity Promotion Project, which is sponsoring the workshop along with the CCHS TeenAge Program. "One of the things students will focus on is, ‘If you wanted to find a healthy snack, could you walk there safely?'"
Baer said at least two dozen students have committed to participate in the walk audit, after which they will report on locations where unsafe conditions exist such as motorist blind spots or areas where pedestrian crossings or signage could be improved. As part of the walk audit, students will be using radar speed guns to assess the speed of traffic on streets near their school.
The area around the high school was identified last year as one of five pedestrian safety "hot spots" in Richmond. Between, 2002 -2005, the RHS area had the 3rd highest number of pedestrian collisions (11) in the City of Richmond. All 11 pedestrian collisions occurred within two blocks of Richmond High School. More than half of the pedestrians injured near the RHS hot spot were between the ages of 13-17, and almost 70 percent occurred between noon and 5 p.m.
"This is similar to Walkability Workshops we have hosted in other parts of the county," said Baer, whose project is part of CCHS Community Wellness & Prevention Program. Quoting from the "Spectrum of Prevention" framework, she added "Two of our strategies for injury prevention are to mobilize neighborhoods and communities and promote community education. This workshop is a way to do it with young people."
"The students I've talked to are very interested in giving input about making streets safer for pedestrians," said Shanda Young of the TeenAge Program. "They're looking forward to it." For more information about the workshop, contact Shannon Ladner-Beasley of Contra Costa Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-313-6813.
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- Nancy Baer