School Zone: 40 mph


I just spotted this sign while driving around today, waiting to pick my daughter up from preschool. Would you be comfortable having your child cross a road where traffic is traveling at 40 mph?

A reminder from one of my earliest posts:

The  effect of vehicle speed on pedestrian death
The effect of vehicle speed on pedestrian death

I should note that I did a little research on this after posting this graph this summer, and learned that it’s based on UK data. American numbers are (yikes) actually slightly worse because we drive larger vehicles.

This is a value judgment, a question of priorities. On this road, we are prioritizing minimal slowdowns for cars over walkability for kids. As a society, we decide whether that is okay or not, but for now, I’d be content to have us actively acknowledge the choice we’re making here.

2 thoughts on “School Zone: 40 mph”

  1. It’s 25 in front of Auburn Elementary. Wondering what I’ll do if we still live in this house in 2 years because they would have to cross Midland Rd. thank goodness I have some time.

    1. Twenty-five is what I always thought was standard in a school zone, and is a lot more reasonable – assuming that people actually drive 25, which I don’t remember doing in Auburn! (Is Sly the traffic cop still around?)

      A couple thoughts (because I like to spend time on non-urgent items): You could walk them to school. You could look into the Safe Routes to School program, which helps parents work with the school and town to let their kids walk to school safely. They could probably walk by themselves when they get a little older, crazy as that sounds to us Americans. Or you could start a walking school bus, where a bunch of kids from a neighborhood all meet and walk together, usually with adults taking turns supervising. Lots of options, and you do have plenty of time!

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