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This section contains the latest news on issues related to street safety issues in and out of the frame of the RoSaCe project, in and out of school.
8 Mar 2009

Children from Tarragona propose changes concerning street safety problems around their school

n the Catalan city of Tarragona, four classes at F.C.P. Sagrat Cor de Jesús School, comprising a total of 117 children, were selected to participate in the experimental phase of RoSaCe. They were motivated by the objectives and put a lot of effort into the project.

“The aim of the project is to promote reflection, followed by change. The city should become a healthy space, with less noise and pollution, to encourage healthy behaviour on the part of the inhabitants. Another objective is to reduce traffic in streets and squares, and use more public transport. Like the school, the city should also become environmentally active and respect the environment”, said one of the teachers.

Creating a safe city life with safer streets also forms part of the project, as does encouraging public participation in decision-making. The class was divided into three groups, so that each group could concentrate on a specific aspect of the project. The pupils first went out onto the streets to identify safety problems in their environment, after which they wrote reports containing their conclusions and possible solutions to the problems.

“The first thing we did was fieldwork. Over a period of several days, we went outside to examine the streets and take notes and photos of the problems we detected. Afterwards, we got together to discuss all of the problems detected and group them into five categories: pavements, safety in Marquès de Montoliu, lack of visibility, deterioration of the alley next to the school, and architectural barriers. The next step was to find possible solutions for a change to benefit the community”, explained the teacher.

An example of a danger zone detected in Tarragona is Marquès de Montoliu, a large dual carriageway featuring heavy traffic moving in the direction of the Plaza Imperial Tàrraco and Avenida Catalunya. Although it is a street with speed limits and vehicles are not allowed to go faster than 30 km/h, the limit is rarely respected. One of the main entrances to Sagrat Cor de Jesús School is approximately halfway down the avenue. Right in front of this entrance, there is a pedestrian crossing without any traffic lights to cross the four lanes of the avenue. This is a danger zone for the pupils at Sagrat Cor de Jesús School and other schools in the area, such as Santo Domingo de Guzman and Carmelitas, as well as for all pedestrians in general.

To reduce risk when crossing the avenue, suggestions were made to paint horizontal markings along the whole avenue, indicating the maximum speed limit of 30 km/h, to put up warning signs to remind drivers that children are crossing the street, and to construct a safety band before the pedestrian crossing in front of the school to make car drivers slow down.

The pupils’ ultimate goal was to present their findings and proposals to the school parents’ association and the city council, in order to make changes happen at school and city level.

In the report that they prepared for the occasion, the pupils introduced their objectives as follows:
“In order to contribute to making the city safe, liveable, comfortable, participatory, eco-friendly and healthy, we carried out a study of the streets around the school. We believe that all of the city areas, in particular the school surroundings, should fulfil the aforementioned requirements.”
see the report in Spanish