Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga and FedEx unveiled the new pedestrian safety improvements at Clifton Hills Elementary School, Alton Park, and Warner Park during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Clifton Hills Elementary.
According to Kassi Webster with Outdoor Chattanooga, $25,000 in grant funds – provided by FedEx – allowed the Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga’s Pedestrian Safety Task Force to raise the crossing area on East 32nd Street at Clifton Hills Elementary to streamline the arrival and dismissal of students and slow traffic in the school zone, as well as countdown timers, crosswalks, and ramps at two intersections in the Warner Park area.
The goal of the Task Force is to improve safety and accessibility for East Chattanooga residents. Further, on 38th Street in Alton Park, faded crosswalks were restriped with materials purchased by the grant.
“These changes significantly changed the permanent walking conditions for child pedestrians in the Clifton Hills Elementary area, East Chattanooga, and Alton Park communities,” said Ms. Webster.
“Efforts to educate area children on safe pedestrian behavior will also accompany the projects and the City of Chattanooga Police will target enforcement of pedestrian laws in these areas to further improve safety and educate drivers on how to protect pedestrians.”
In 2009, there were a total of 59 pedestrian and bike crashes among all ages in Chattanooga, 10 of which were fatal. In 2009, 11 patients were also seen at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for pedestrian injuries. Two of these children died. Nationwide – every year – more than 244 children ages 14 and under die from pedestrian-related injuries and more than 13,000 go to the emergency room.
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor, FedEx, created the Safe Kids Walk This Way program to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. This is the eleventh year of the Safe Kids Walk This Way program has been active in communities across the United States.
Every day, more than 70,000 FedEx vehicles are on the road, sharing the streets with pedestrians, fueling the company’s dedication to pedestrian safety and sharing the lessons of safe driving that FedEx has learned over the past 35-plus years.
Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga Area works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Its members include representatives from area health departments, fire departments, law enforcement and community representatives focused on injury prevention.
Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga Area is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga Area is led by Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.