Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus joined Mayor Gregor Robertson and VPD Chief Jim Chu in highlighting Vancouver's progress of becoming a pedestrian fatality-free city.
Outside of Carlton Elementary school, city officials and representatives from ICBC and Coastal Health drew attention to the continued need for safe, pedestrian-friendly streets.
"We have thousands of children walking to school every day," said Bacchus. "We always like to encourage them to do that and we need to ensure they're safe."
Robertson lauded the city's engineering progress.
"Vancouver was named the most walkable city in Canada by Walkscore," said Robertson. "But we can do better. Our goal is to have zero pedestrian fatalities."
30 of 44 sites in the city have been improved, including the Joyce and Kingsway intersection outside of Carlton. Improvements include countdown timers on crosswalk signs and better lighting.
The school will be participating in the Active and Safe Travel Planning School Program next year. Joining a group of organizations including the City of Vancouver, VPD and ICBC, Carlton Elementary will work to address its unique transportation challenges and create solutions for safer student commutes.
For over 75 years, the VSB has operated a School Safety Patrol Program, featuring safety talks by VPD officers. 30 percent of VSB elementary schools have safety patrols and crossing guards.
Chu, who was a crossing guard in elementary school, reminded residents to exercise extra caution during spring commutes.
"Mornings will be darker, but with the warmer weather, more people will be walking and cycling," says Chu.
After the presentation, Bacchus, Chu and Robertson were safely escorted across Kingsway by a pair of Carlton's student crossing guards.