Photo by Arunsankar Muralitharan
On October 8, International Walk & Roll to School Day, nearly 90 schools and 14,000 children across San Francisco participated in a record-breaking Walk & Roll to School Day. Thanks to the efforts of the SF Safe Routes to Schools Partnership, over 85% of San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools participated, growing the event by 10% this year.
At Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, over 150 students walked with parents, or joined one of five “walking school buses,” to make their way through SoMa to reach school before the bell rang, sending a strong message to thousands of nearby commuters: families live here, children walk here.
Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim, Superintendent Richard Carranza, Police Chief Greg Suhr, SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, SF Department of Public Health Officer Tomás Aragon, and SF Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg, joined school Principal Tina Lagdamen, and parents Tiffany Brown and Adrienne Lawrence, to recognize the school’s students and celebrate pedestrian safety improvements for Bessie Carmichael’s elementary and middle school campuses, which are located among some of the most dangerous streets in San Francisco.
The safety improvements include:
- Leading pedestrian interval at 7th and Folsom (complete)
- School Zone signage around Bessie Carmichael Elementary School (complete)
- Painted bulbouts at 6th St. and Howard St. (complete)
- New signal at 6th St and Minna (planned for October 2014)
- New stop signs and crosswalks in the school zone (planned for end of 2014)
- Howard St. lane narrowing, bicycle lane and painted bulbouts (planned for winter 2014/2015)
- School Zone signage around Bessie Carmichael Middle School (planned)
- Raised crosswalk on Sherman St. between Victoria Manalo Draves Park and the School (planned)
- Ramp signage to remind drivers exiting the freeway that they are entering a community (planned)
- Daylighting and bulbouts at 4th/Harrison (planned)
Photo by Robin Allen
Bessie Carmichael is one of a handful of schools in the city that does not qualify for slower 15 mph school zones. State law precludes these slow zones on wide, fast streets where they’re needed most. These safety improvements are critical for the safety and well-being of Bessie students and ensure progress towards to the city’s Vision Zero policy to end all traffic deaths in ten years.