Schools present unique safety challenges with respect to the significant daily spikes in traffic volume on and around school property during the school year. School Site Traffic Management Plans (SSTMP’s) outline how traffic will safely operate on the site, including pedestrians, those using mobility devices, cyclists, motorized vehicles and school purpose vehicles.
Benefits of a School Site Traffic Management Plan:
- Clear plans and reference materials for school community.
- Defined traffic flow for pedestrians, motorists, and school purpose vehicles.
- Promotion of safe practices on school property & around school site.
- Increased awareness of ‘active travel’ and ‘walk a block’ opportunities.
School Site Traffic Management Plans
There are many health and environmental benefits associated with active travel in addition to the positive impacts on students. The more a school encourages active travel, the better the chances that traffic congestion around the school will decrease.
Active travel benefits:
- Healthier Children – Walking, cycling, or using a wheelchair, scooter or skateboard to school provides daily physical activity which supports brain development, and can lead to improved learning and attention at school. Children arrive at school alert and ready to learn.
- Less Traffic and Pollution – Fewer cars around schools reduces traffic congestion, improves safety, and decreases harmful air pollution.
School Travel Planning
School Travel Planning (STP) is a community-based approach that aims to address barriers to and incentives for students to use active and sustainable modes for all, or part of, their journey to and from school. Community stakeholders work together to create a School Safety Plan, which may include; school infrastructure improvements (e.g. bike racks), education (e.g. safety training), community mobilization (e.g. walking ‘school buses’), encouragement (e.g. celebrations of physical activity) and, in some cases, engineering improvements at or near school sites (e.g. pedestrian crossings).
Ontario Active School Travel (OAST), a Green Communities Canada program, has everything you need to implement School Travel Planning in your community. If you are interested, please visit the OAST website to access the School Travel Planning Toolkit.
Active Travel Safety
To view Ontario Ministry of Transportations road safety for pedestrians, and driving laws and safety tips for pedestrian crossovers and school crossings please click here.