November 27, 2007

I’ve updated the list to include recent suggestions. Any and all are welcome to use this list as a reference point, especially when communicating with elected officials. Note that the City Council has tasked the city manager to bring forth suggestions for change at the next CC meeting on Dec 17th. Email or call him with your thoughts: 425-3550
As we move forward, I thought it might help to centralize as many ideas as possible – no matter how realistic or affordable – so that no stone is left unturned. Feel free to add to my list using the comments button. Note that each item can have sub items and I will attempt to revise the original post with your feedback.

Imagine how powerful it would be if just 1/4 of our citizens grabbed a hold of some of these ideas and pursued them to the end? Or if just 20 people grabbed on to all of them and worked through them until all possibilities had been explored.

I’m excited to think of how we’ll remove what previously seemed like insurmountable obstacles.


Individual Efforts
ó Make opportunities – don’t wait for them – to educate not only your own children, but others as well
ó Model and practice safety in the presence of children and adults alike
ó Now your neighbors, familiarize yourself with the local offender lists and make others aware of potentially dangerous areas
ó Organize volunteer walking school buses
ó Organize neighborhood carpools

– Offer anyone who’s child you know walks to help transport them
– Get certified in First Aid and CPR

Take a bicycle safety class

City/School Efforts
ó Frequently position police officers directly at these busy intersections
ó Address any inconsistencies in stop light changes
ó Install more sidewalks
ó Paint slanted lines into all of the current crosswalks so that children know clearly where to walk and cars can clearly see where to stop
ó Organize a volunteer crossing guard schedule; use all 1,000 city and school employees until all shifts are filled
ó Encourage local judges to double or triple fines and points for motorists caught speeding in a school zone
ó Build pedestrian bridges
ó Install sidewalks on major roads where foot traffic is heavy
ó Install traffic cameras for both red lights and speed zones
ó Reinstate buses for all children
ó Pursue low-to-no cost alternatives, such as free extended care, privately funded or subsidized shuttle service with consideration for:
o children without bus privileges
o children of single parents, grandparents or of parents who are constrained by work obligations
o children who have been temporarily suspended from the bus
o children who participate in extra-curricular activities that may cause them to arrive or depart school outside of normal hours
ó Pursue state and federal grants for any and all of the above

– Make *all* stoplights turn red when the pedestrian button is pushed at busy intersections like Illinois and the Turnpike. (Denver does this in their downtown.)
– Instead of the busses running and stopping several times in a neighborhood have a central pick up point in the neighborhood and/or along major, less dangerous routes

ó Explore rerouting traffic during before and after school hours
ó Identify all high-risk zones within the city from east to west
ó Turn transportation over to city to eliminate state restrictions
State Efforts

– Lobby the State to change the rule that prohibits charging for bus service within the zone where the state contributes nothing for transportation
ó Pursue legislation to make it illegal for a vehicle to cross the plane of a crosswalk while a pedestrian is within that same plane.
ó Lobby the state to include more funding in the BEP for transportation state-wide based on the fact that the first step in meeting any state or federal education goal is getting children to school safely.
ó Ask the state to put more responsibility on TDOT to provide funding for local government to implement additional police positioning, flashing lights, crossing guards, walking overpasses, etc. where state highways are located within a walk zone of all schools.
ó Seek that our state require schools or cities (and specify which one) to provide crossing guards at all major intersections within all walk zones of all schools when transportation is not provided
ó Support any legislation that gives local authorities the right to install traffic cameras for both red-lights and speed zones
ó Encourage state representatives to adjust any laws that will alleviate the pressures bus drivers are subjected to in expediting their routes – they are forced to meet a set schedule that takes little to no consideration for the nuances inherent to their situation (racing to pick up children who may be racing to get to them or may be slow in getting on and off the bus). I would think that the origin of such pressure comes from school attendance laws which penalize school systems when children are late.


Consult with the Oak Ridge Traffic Safety Advisory Board (TSAB)
U.S. Dept of Transportation’s grant program for “Safe Routes to School”. This is different from the SRTS Guide, and offers the promise of federal and state money to address safety issues.


  1. Trina,Great suggestions! I'd like to add a couple more:INDIVIDUAL: – Get certified in First Aid and CPR – Take a bicycle safety classCITY: – Make *all* stoplights turn red when the pedestrian button is pushed at busy intersections like Illinois and the Turnpike. (Denver does this in their downtown.)

  2. My 2 cents for what it worth with inflation. It will cause a litte bit of walking but not a lot. Instead of the busses runing and stopping several times in a neighborhood have a central pick up point in the neighborhood. yes the kids will have to walk a little but it will be in their own neighborhood. Have the pick up points along major routes (no not the Turn Pike or illinious Ave, those 2 roads should be off limits). You know like Outer Dr and Georgia Ave or like Tennesse and Florida. It would keep the buses moving along these routes and keep them from driving extra miles down through the neighborhoods(should cut some fuel costs). I know most of the buses do this kinda now with dead end streets(no place to turn around) but there are loops that they don't really have to make.These routes would need to be laid out by the Transportation Dept but I am confident they can do it. Any thing has got to be better than what it is now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s