Speaking of the launch An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Una Power said:
‘In launching this initiative, dlr wishes to continue supporting schools in re-opening, which is challenging in light of Covid-19 and maintaining safety and social distancing at school entrances. This trial School Zone initiative provides a unique opportunity for the Council and schools across the County, to learn from emerging best practice in this area.’
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Director of Infrastructure & Climate Change, Robert Burns said:
‘I welcome the opportunity to work with the National Transport Authority, An Taisce, and Carysfort NS, in developing this trial School Zone initiative in our County. The Council continues to develop and implement active travel schemes, and this initiative allows us to further explore options that are tailored to the needs of individual schools. This trial will also inform appropriate approaches and measures that may be used elsewhere in the future.’
Principal of Carysfort National School in Blackrock, Norma Linehan said:
‘Carysfort National School is delighted to have the support of the Council, to create a School Zone for our back to school drop off and pick up plan. This will give our parents far more confidence about independent mobility for their children.’
Front of school congestion is a chronic problem across Ireland in rural, urban, and suburban settings. This issue is amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, which requires space for social distancing on footpaths and avoiding congregation of people at school gates. Recently, two-hundred school principals responded to a national survey identifying vehicle parking and vehicle drop off congestion as the number one challenge for social distancing at the front of their school.
The National Transport Authority and An Taisce have developed concept options for a front of school zone treatment, where design features would assist in creating a safer, calmer, and more attractive environment. A school zone is one where vehicular traffic movement is permitted, but with control measures in place, such as traffic calming, controlled pedestrian crossings, and placing of specific markings on the street.