To: Parramatta Council
Safe Streets to School: Parramatta
Active travel to school should be convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable for kids and families. We want Parramatta City Council to ensure there are footpaths, crossings or low speeds to support and encourage active travel.
Specifically, we ask that within 2kms of every school there are either:
-Pedestrian priority crossings and footpaths on streets with speed limits 40km/h and higher
-30km/h speed limits for residential streets
These are research-backed measures proven to make walking and cycling safer. We are asking for the bare minimum of what all students should have for their school journey.
Why is this important?
Children deserve to walk or ride to school safely.
Walking to school improves kids' fitness and independence. However, they are often driven over short distances to school by parents. Parents perceive that their child's journey to school is unsafe on part of or on their whole journey.
As a result, our streets are subject to tens of thousands more car trips every year, making them even less safe and clogging up roads with unnecessary traffic during morning drop off and afternoon pick up.
Streets without footpaths and crossings with speed limits higher than 30km/h are not considered safe by Australia's safe system approach.
The Case for crossings:
Research shows that children cannot judge gaps in traffic consistently when cars go faster than 30km/h to safely cross a street
On streets where there are no footpaths and crossings, reducing the car speed to 30km/h would prevent most accidents: the stopping distance for a car traveling 30km/h is 13m. Stopping distance for a car traveling 50km/h is 37m. The risk of death or serious injury if hit at 30km/h is less than 10%; compared to 90% if hit at 50km/h. It is an unreasonable risk to place our children in harms way on their journey to school.