City expects to get millions from school zone speed cameras
Money will go toward funding school road improvements
A few schools near Ballard will be getting road safety improvements as the result of the revenues generated from school zone speeding cameras.
By the end of 2014, the city will install 15 school zone speeding cameras, in addition to the four that there already are. These cameras, officials say, should generate $14.8 million.
That revenue will work toward improving roads around schools. At more than 20 schools, including West Woodland Elementary in East Ballard/Phinney Ridge and Viewlands Elementary in Crown Hill, the city will make improvements such as new sidewalks, improved street crossings, and traffic calming.
“Keeping children safe as they travel to and from school, as well as throughout their neighborhood, is a top priority,” said McGinn. “This substantial new investment will help us make lasting improvements and encourage everyone to be safe on our roads.”
This effort is part of the School Road Safety Initiative launched earlier this year. This initiative is being advised by a School Road Safety Task Force and Interagency Team, made up of residents and members of school communities throughout the city.
“Safety is SDOT’s number one priority, as stated in our 2012-2013 Action Agenda. We are committed to improving safety for all users of the transportation system. I am pleased that the school camera enforcement program will enable us to invest in significant improvements around schools and throughout the city,” said Peter Hahn, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.
The first school zone speed cameras were installed near four schools in November 2012. Between December 2012 and April 2013 citations fell by 16 percent overall at those locations.
To date in 2013, an estimated $2.9 million has been appropriated for road safety education, operations, and infrastructure. An additional $3.3 million is proposed as part of a 3rd Quarter supplemental budget request. McGinn will include $8.6 million for school safety investments, including capital infrastructure, operations and maintenance in his proposed 2014 budget. Safety improvements will be constructed in 2014 and 2015, while education efforts will be ongoing.
“Parents are less likely to allow their children to walk to school if the neighborhood lacks sidewalks or crossings that feel safe,” said Lisa Quinn, Executive Director of Feet First. “This substantial road safety investment supports walking routes to school, safety education, school zone traffic enforcement, and more. Together, these improvements make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
This work is part of Road Safety Action Plan and the Be Super Safe campaign launched in 2012. For more information, see http://www.seattle.gov/besupersafe.
Follow Ballard News-Tribune on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ballardnewstrib
And Twitter at http://twitter.com/ballardnewstrib