Schools in Galway City are being encouraged to work with the city council on creating pedestrianised school streets during drop off and pick up times.
Galway City Councillor Owen Hanley said that the School Streets programme can create a safer and calmer environment for parents and children walking and cycling to school.
The programme involves creating a temporary restriction on motor traffic during school drop off and pick up times in the morning and afternoon.
A pilot programme for the project with Scoil Iognáid in the westside of Galway City began last year.
This saw Palmyra Row, Palmyra Avenue and Raleigh Row pedestrianised between 8:15am and 9:15am, as well as 1:15pm to 2:45pm.
Local residents retained access to the streets during this time, as did ‘blue badge’ holders or cyclists accessing the school.
This project was funded by the National Transport Authority, and delivered with the support of the Green-Schools Travel programme.
“School streets are a practical way we can make walking and cycling to school a more realistic option for parents, children and staff,” Owen Hanley said.
“There’s never been a better time to make positive changes to the way traffic moves at peak times,” said Councillor Hanley. “School streets involve installing traffic calming measures and creating more safe crossings.”
Councillor Hanley said that parents have been in contact with him to express concerns about the “dangerous environment” children face on their way to school.
The Social Democrats Councillor said that a project like this should be part of a transport strategy that includes public transport and cycling infrastructure.
“Ensuring that access to schools are a safe landing point for anyone walking or cycling is vital, and when combined with public transport and cycling infrastructure connects the dots on complete journey from the home to school that is safe, fun and quick.”
He added that this year it is expected that more collaborations with schools across the city will be possible as the city draws down NTA funding for school transport measures.
Owen Hanley said “We need schools to engage with the concept and work out with the Council the best way we can create school zones that works for everyone.”