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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As Springfield Public Schools students head back to school Thursday, Aug. 13 and area universities start their fall sessions the following week, the City of Springfield’s Public Works Traffic Engineering division wants to remind drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians.
In preparation for the return to school, Public Works tested the school-zone warning flashers last week. This week, drivers can expect enforcement if they exceed the 20 mph school-zone speed limit.
In order to assist the families of students who walk or ride their bike to school, the Traffic Engineering division has developed recommended school walking route maps for all SPS elementary schools, available at springfieldmo.gov/schoolsafety.
Each map features the location of the school, existing traffic controls, sidewalks, crossing guard locations, and arrow head markings that suggest the walking route for each child from his or her home to the school utilizing the recommended school crossing locations.
The maps are updated annually for each elementary school in the Springfield R-12 School District, with the following objectives and considerations:• Routes combine as students approach the school to group the students as soon as possible for greater safety and to consolidate the number of street crossings to reduce total vehicle-pedestrian exposures.• Routes should make the maximum use of existing traffic control (signals and stop signs).• Adequate sight distance between the motorists and the pedestrian must be available at all crossings.
In addition to the maps, several schools have signalized school crosswalks. Signalized school crosswalks are equipped with "kid friendly" pedestrian push buttons and education signage. The push buttons are activated by the touch of a finger and the button responds with a single "chirp" sound along with display of a continuous red led light. Two separate education plaques are used at school crosswalks.
It’s estimated that 40,000 college students will return to Springfield next week. Drivers should expect traffic patterns and volumes to change with the influx of students.
The City reminds drivers that the speed limit in Springfield neighborhoods is 25 mph. For more information about the city’s Drive 25 program, please visit springfieldmo.gov/Drive25.
The program’s goals are:
• Educate drivers on the impact that speeding has on braking distance and survival rates of pedestrians hit by cars.• Promote courteous driving habits.• Raise awareness of how individual motorist's behavior impacts the quality of life in their neighborhood and our community.• Raise awareness that motorists share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians.• Reduce speeding on streets throughout our community.
For more information, please contact Traffic Engineer Eric Claussen at 417-864-1165.