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'We need signage': Community demands school zone around Crosstown Elementary
Rupy Khera has been asking the City of Vancouver for months to make the streets around Crosstown Elementary School a school zone.
“Is it going to be a fatality or somebody actually being hit before the city actually takes some kind of action,” she posed while showing car after car drive through the three-way stop at Taylor Street and Keefer Place.
Crosstown Elementary School opened its doors in 2017 and has approximately 500 students from kindergarten to Grade 7. The area is home to the Chinatown SkyTrain station, Costco, Rogers Arena and backs on to Expo Boulevard, a major throughway into the city.
“The city built a school and pretty much forgot about the surrounding safety for the students,” she said.
School is back on Sept. 3, which is just days away. She and other parents had hoped the City of Vancouver would have added school zone signs to get drivers to slow down.
One parent told CTV News she was told in May by city staff they’d be adding a school zone in that area.
“What are they waiting for?” asked Khera, “all we’re looking for is action.”
The school board is aware of concerns from parents and in a statement a spokesperson said, “The district has been, and will continue to work with the city on this issue.”
It went on to say, “Student safety is our top priority. We host several traffic safety events on the first day of school to remind parents and those in the neighbourhood about traffic safety near schools.”
CTV News reached out to the city for comment and received the following response:
"We’re aware of these concerns and have been working with the VSB and school PAC to address them."
The city added that two signs had been installed on Expo Boulevard at Carrall Street last fall. The signs at the intersection do not say the words "school zone" on them, nor do they call for a reduction in speed.
Rushing is identified as one of the biggest problems at school drop off: BCAA
As parents rush to drop their kids off at school before going to work, a new study by BCAA has found they shouldn't be so fast to leave.
“One of the biggest things that’s causing problem is rushing,” said Shawn Pettipas, Director of Community Engagement, BCAA.
During their study, Pettipas said they’ve seen everything from, “speeding in a school zone, not stopping at crosswalks, parking illegally, encouraging your kids to cross illegally and in a potentially dangerous situation.”
According to ICBC, 380 children are injured annually in crashes while they’re walking to cycling. And five of kids are killed in the crashes each year.
These shocking numbers are why officials are coming forward to ask parents to work together to keep school zones safe this year.
“If you think about all those parents and kids descending on that one small area at that specific time of day, it can be a recipe for chaos,” Pettipas said.
To avoid that he’s taking this chance to remind people to, “take a little bit more time [and] be a bit more courteous.”