Ensuring Safe Routes to School for Lawrence families

Maureen BradyCity, Metropolitan Planning Organization

The City of Lawrence continues its commitment to prioritizing the safety of our children as they travel to and from school. As part of the ongoing Lawrence Safe Routes to School Program, we are dedicated to fostering secure pathways for families, particularly those living around schools and young pedestrians commuting daily. The city implemented and evaluated seven Pilot Crossing Guard locations this fall and all seven did not meet the criteria warranting a permanent crossing guard. These seven routes will no longer have an adult crossing guard starting Monday, Dec. 4. Those routes are:

  • Iowa and Clinton Parkway/23rd Street
  • Iowa and 27th Street
  • 6th Street and Folks Rd
  • 6th Street and Stoneridge Dr
  • 23rd Street and Louisiana
  • 9th Street and Emery
  • 6th Street and Michigan

The Safe Routes to School initiative, a collaboration between the City of Lawrence, the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, and USD 497, is a comprehensive approach to making neighborhoods safe and accessible for everyone.

As part of our commitment to safety, the city piloted adult crossing guards at key locations aligned with the 2023-2024 USD 497-adopted elementary school boundaries. These temporary placements were strategically selected, considering the potential for increased street crossings for K-5 students due to boundary changes. Locations such as 6th St. & Folks Rd., 9th St. & Emery Rd., and other spots were closely monitored over 30-60 days to assess their effectiveness according to our School Area Traffic Control Policy.

The criteria for placing a permanent crossing guard at an intersection controlled by a traffic signal is a minimum of 30 children per day using the crossing. Evaluation data showed 0 children crossing daily at three pilot locations, 1 child crossing daily at three locations, and 4 children crossing daily at one location. The School Area Traffic Control Policy (SATCP) serves as our guiding beacon in establishing school zones, determining crossings, and placing adult crossing guards. For those interested in the specifics, the policy can be accessed here.

The City of Lawrence remains unwavering in its commitment to ensuring safe routes for our young people. Together, we will continue to evolve and adapt, prioritizing the safety and well-being of our community’s children.

Media Contact: Cori Wallace, Director of Communications & Community Relations
City of Lawrence

About Lawrence Safe Routes to School Program
The Lawrence Safe Routes to School Program is a collaborative effort between the City of Lawrence, the Lawrence – Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Lawrence – Douglas County Public Health, and USD 497. This program focuses on enhancing safety measures for students traveling to and from school, ensuring secure pathways and crossing areas.

About the City of Lawrence 
The City of Lawrence supports an unmistakably vibrant community with innovative, equitable, transparent and responsible local government. Together, we are creating a community where everyone can enjoy life and feel at home.