Monday 12 January 2009

Portsmouth: School dropoff

What then, does a Cycling Town do for child safety by schools?

When the school abuts a 30 mph through road, the need of through traffic to get across town fast takes priority over children. Hence the Albert Road entrance to Southsea Infant School has no dropped speed limit, merely a few bars to stop the kids running straight into the traffic flow.

Nearby another school has some extra no-stopping signage in front of its establishment, showing it is clearly a problem in the area. One thing to consider is whether such signage gives the town's parking services group the right to enforce parking restrictions.

Round the back of Southsea infant school, there's a quieter entrance. There are lots of buildouts to aid pedestrian safety. Here they are covered in plants. This will stop cars parking there, but it also stops families crossing the road at this point.

Apart from that logistical issues, it's very pretty. For anyone cycling to school, the lack of kids running out over the road would make it easier to come in to the pavement at speed, assuming that little gate between the two buildouts isn't blocked by cars. Which may explain the role of that movable barrier on the wall -it may get put on the road during dropoff/pickup time to discourage parking here.

Summary: on the main road, what has been done is pretty weak. Round the corner someone has made a good attempt at improving safety. Putting plants on buildouts does stop cars parking there, though some of those sheffield racks could also do that.

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