I am proud to announce the successful launch of a new initiative here in District 1, Project PASSION. Project PASSION (Public and School Safety in Our Neighborhoods) was born out of the needs of both our residents and schools to improve safety in our neighborhoods around our schools.
The projects goals are threefold:
- Reduce Traffic Speeds in the Neighborhood Related to Schools
- Maximize Traffic Flow to Reduce Traffic Stacking on Public Streets
- Improve Parking Compliance within Crosswalks and Driveways
Our first Project PASSION target was the Challenger School in the Strawberry Park Neighborhood. As a result of a traffic accident involving a school parent near the Challenger School many neighbors took to social media to voice their concerns and frustration about safety issues near the school. I instructed my Community Relations Director, Ed Brooks, to bring both parties together and see what services the City could offer to help mitigate the safety concerns in the neighborhood.
After meeting with both groups, we determined that there was much common ground between the school and neighbors. Both wanted orderly organized traffic, parking in legal areas in and next to the school, and reduced speeds.
- We asked SJPD’s Traffic Enforcement to help with speeding and Stop sign running. They had a field day (several of them) and traffic calmed down noticeably
- We asked Parking Compliance to help with bad habits of parking across crosswalks and blocking driveways
- We asked DOT to add some red curbing, change some signage, and add some dots.
- We asked Challenger to reeducate their parents on traffic flow and add a temporary barrier to enforce traffic flow
- Challenger volunteered to move some of their students to achieve a better balance and hired 2 new staffers to help with control traffic flow behavior
At the final community meeting many residents thanked Challenger and my office for their respective roles in listening to and taking action on neighborhood safety issues. The result is a much calmer neighborhood where residents feel they had a voice.
We are looking forward to working with other Schools and Neighborhoods to help calm traffic and create a safer environment for everyone.