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Path to success for Portobello School

Path to success for Portobello School

Dunedin (Friday, 26 October 2012) - Children at Portobello School are now a whole lot safer as they head in and out of school, thanks to a joint initiative by DCC Transportation Operations, the school and the local community.

In mid-winter last year Portobello School was having problems with road safety in both its car parks, so principal Shelley Wilde and Board of Trustees Chairperson Roseanne Price set up a meeting with DCC Transportation Operations and invited members of the community board, church, Playcentre and toy library along.

DCC Safe and Sustainable Transport Co-ordinator, Charlotte Flaherty, says after some brainstorming they realised that by redesignating staff parking to the upper park, not only would more parking spaces be released for parents but there would be much less mixing of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the narrow track linking Harington Point Road to the upper park.

“Our staff went away and drew up some options for the car park, while school children researched the number of drivers using the lower car park area and the number of pedestrians and cyclists using both the upper and lower area for school-related trips.

“The Playcentre, meanwhile, researched the number of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists using the upper area for Playcentre activities.”

Once all the information was analysed the school decided to create a new path, so children no longer had to dodge reversing cars as they walked the length of the lower car park to use the school bus or to alight from or enter private vehicles. A team, led by Board of Trustees’ member Brendon Cross, created this footpath at the back of the car park, meaning children are now completely separated from cars as they walk to meet their parents.

The school also arranged for the children to wear high viz vests which improved safety as they walked through the town.

“We are extremely impressed with the work the school team has done,” says Ms Flaherty. “The pathway is well-used by the children and keeps them out of harm's way.”

A walking map has also been produced for the school by Sport Otago in conjunction with the school’s Police Education Officer and transportation engineers.


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