August 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM
My name is David Sexton and I’m running for a seat on the Westfield Board of Education.
Traffic safety around Westfield schools should be a concern for all of us. More than just working with the crossing guard at your local corner, Westfield kids and their parents these days need to navigate busy, hectic drop off areas around our schools.
I’ve seen some excellent practices around some of our schools. In one school, I’ve noticed that teachers and parents coordinate to encourage drop-offs occur away from the street. Teachers and parents at these schools also work to bring the students into the building quickly and efficiently.
At other schools, I’ve seen less visible coordination. Parents and their children navigate among each other and hurried morning commuters in busy, chaotic spaces. The difficulties of this process only increase when the weather deteriorates.
I think of the traffic accidents we’ve had in town in the last few years where bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured, and I know that we need to do more to protect our kids. We need consistent planning and coordination in the drop off and pickup process around our schools.
I’m pleased to see the work that the town council has coordinated around traffic safety awareness. I think we can do more.
If elected, I’ll work to coordinate with our educators, parents, police and other town government officials to bring focus to traffic safety around schools. I would love to see good practices that are already occurring transplanted where appropriate. I’d like for everyone to feel confident and safe traveling back and forth from school.
As I mentioned in an earlier letter, I don’t think good practices necessarily require spending more money, but they do require active planning, coordination and good choices.