Wilson Road School Streets

School Street Projects – Wilson School


Kat Heath interviewed Rodrigo Perez Vega about his involvement in Wilson School’s School Streets:

Why do you marshal for the school streets?

I received an email from Wilson Primary School, asking for volunteers to take part in the School Street initiative.

My son goes to this school, and I have witnessed the benefits of having a school street closed for pedestrians and other forms of transportation children use to go to school (bikes, scooters) during both drop-off and pick-up times. 

What’s the biggest challenge?

Rodrigo Perez Vega volunteering

The main two challenges are finding volunteers every term that want to take part in the initiative. There are some days when there are no volunteers to continue supporting the initiative, and children and families are less safe during those days.

The other challenge is to change the mentality of some parents, who rather than parking in a nearby street and walking, try to arrive just a few minutes earlier before the school street is implemented so that they can be close to school.

This means we still have some cars from non-residents during these busy times, and it defeats the purpose of the initiative.

There are also sometimes some people that insist on going through for different reasons that are not urgent or necessary.

As a resident what’s the best and worst thing about a school street?

The best thing is knowing kids are safer during those times. There’s a lot of buzz in the mornings and afternoons and it is good to see parents with their kids using the space that this initiative grants them.

The worst thing is not being able to park or go through the streets during that time. That is less of a problem now, as I don’t have a car anymore, but it was a while ago when I used to have one.

It’s not a huge inconvenience, and it can be easily solvable as the school provides stickers for residents, who can still go through.

As a parent what’s the best and worst thing about a school street?

The best thing is knowing my son can walk safely to school. We live almost in front of the school, so my son’s journey isn’t too long. But still, it is reassuring to know there will be less or no cars during that time.

The worst thing is … well for me there’s no worst thing. I imagine for parents who do not live close and drive to school, the worst thing might be they will struggle to find parking in front of the school unless they arrive early. But as I explained, this is not my case as I live very close to the school.

Do you feel safer with a school street?

I do feel safer in general when the school street is in operation. Seeing others walking on the street and knowing volunteers are keeping the street closed to motored vehicles is reassuring for my family.

Kat Heath

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