CRD Traffic Safety Commission investigates school travel planner

Concern about children’s safety goes to regional level

The CRD Traffic Safety Commission will review and report back to the board on the traffic safety implications of establishing a regional school travel planning program and co-ordinator to improve the safety of children travelling to school.

The impetus came from a motion put forward by Oak Bay Councillor Michelle Kirby via Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen at the Oct. 8 meeting.

“I am hopeful that with the support of the Traffic Safety Commission, the CRD can hire a School Travel Planning Coordinator to get our pilot project moving,” Kirby said. “My goal is to see five schools begin the HASTe school travel planning process next year, and start a wave of change throughout our communities.”

Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe) is a resource and networking center, to help students, teachers and schools improve the health of individuals, communities and the environment. Learn more at hastebc.org.

The motion passed unanimously.

The motion reads:

Whereas: the CRD Regional Transportation Plan and the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan both call for the CRD to accelerate Active and Safe Routes to School Programs,

Whereas: more children travel to school by car than ever before and the removal of catchment rules, closure of many schools, and the creation of the middle school system has increased the distance children travel to school,

Whereas: neighbourhood complaints about traffic, parking, and vehicle congestion around schools are increasing,

Whereas: other cities in British Columbia are tackling these issues through a school travel planning process developed by HASTe, the Hub for Active School Travel, a non-profit based in Vancouver,

Be it Resolved that: the CRD Traffic Safety Commission be asked to review and report back to the CRD board on the traffic safety implications of establishing a CRD School Travel Planning Program and Co-ordinator to improve the safety of children travelling to school.