Hit-run crash reported, safety urged
From Maggie Anderson at the King County Food and Fitness Initiative:
This morning a student (a young boy) was struck by a hit and run driver as he was attempting to cross the street to get to school today in white center. The boy is a student at White Center Heights Elementary School. According to the school office manager, the school has been waiting (since it was built a few years ago) for crosswalks to be painted and flashing lights to be installed so that children and families can cross safely. The young boy has leg injuries (possibly a broken leg).
The King County Food & Fitness Initiative (KCFFI) recently received funding from the WK Kellogg foundation to create opportunities for healthy eating and active living at White Center Heights Elementary School and 5 others between 2010-2012. Activities include leading focused efforts in two specific limited income public schools each year over the three year implementation period (totaling six schools over three years) as they relate to school wellness policies, improving meal and snack quality, farm to school, school gardening, safe routes to schools, physical activity and education, and school wellness advisory councils. The KCFFI plans on beginning that work in fall 2010.
What do safe walking and bicycling environments include?
* Neighborhood schools that are within walking and bicycling distance from homes
* Sidewalks or bike-paths that connect homes with schools
* Improved opportunities to cross streets (such as the presence of adult crossing guards, raised medians or traffic and pedestrian signals)
* Slow vehicle speeds accomplished through roadway safety measures (traffic calming) and/or police enforcement where needed
Safety education includes working with:
* Children – to provide them with basic safety education, such as how to cross streets, obey crossing guards and be visible to drivers.
* Parents – to create awareness of the need for pedestrian and bicyclist safety education and opportunities to walk and bike and by practicing safety skills with their children.
* Drivers – to alert all drivers to the presence of walkers and bicyclists and the need to slow down.
* Law enforcement – to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety with school zone enforcement.
* Local officials – to identify changes needed to improve walking and bicycling conditions around schools.
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