Safe Routes: MoDOT funds speed reduction measures near schools

A major national effort is underway to promate more children walking and bicycling to school--and to make it safer to do so.

MoBikeFed is represented on MoDOT's Safe Routes to School committee, which gave a grant to a Springfield area program that is helping slow traffic near schools:

a positive development has happened for the children: The Missouri Department of Transportation is giving the district 20 flashing yellow LED warning lights for several schools, which will warn drivers of the speed limits near schools. I know the LED light I pass often in front of Jarrett Middle School nails my attention if I'm distracted, and I slow down as soon as I see it.

Dan Jessen, a project engineer in the city's traffic engineering department, says they put traffic counters measuring speed and numbers of cars near LED flashing signals.

Then, they conducted a two-year study of traffic traveling where there are counters, and the data shows a whopping change in driver behavior where the flashing signals are.

"We have seen a reduction of speeds, especially of those going over 10 and 20 miles per hour over the speed limit," Jessen says. "Those going 30 and 30-plus miles per hour over the limit really went down."

(Thirty and 30-plus mph over the speed limit? Are these people nuts, or just trying to get a better run at the kids?)
Read the rest of Sarah Overstreet's column in the Springfield News-Leader here.