Accessible Schools Program
Council’s Accessible Schools Program (ASP) delivers infrastructure, safety and behaviour change initiatives designed to ease car congestion around schools, by encouraging walking and cycling instead.
Walking, cycling and e-mobility will become increasingly important in the coming years as Council’s population continues to grow rapidly, and with it, school enrolments.
Purpose of the ASP
Many short trips to school, which could be made on foot or with a bike or small mobility device, are being made by private vehicle. Changing this situation will require a team effort across Council, the school community and the State Government.
A key purpose of the ASP is to facilitate this collaboration, with a common goal: to provide safe, connected, attractive walking and cycling environments.
The ASP is also dedicated to educating the community to change travel behaviour towards more sustainable alternatives for short trips to school by car.
Typical ASP projects
Road safety and speed management
Safety around our schools and school crossings is paramount. As each school is different, the ASP employs a range of measures to improve safety on roads, within car parks or along walking and cycling pathways.
School parking and pick up/drop off
A common complaint is the lack of parking at a school and drivers parking in "No Stopping" areas which contributes to dangerous situations caused by lack of visibility for pedestrians and vehicles. Measures such as remote parking, within a five minute walk, improvement to car parking efficiency or improved parking controls are considered as part of the ASP.
Sometimes parking demand can affect bus access into schools. Where this occurs, Council works closely with TransLink and its network of bus operators to improve bus operations. TransLink’s modal priorities are walking/cycling, public transport and then private vehicle access. Council supports these priorities through the ASP.
School crossings are similar to pedestrian crossings but there are school crossing supervisors present to assist children to cross the road safely. Transport and Main Roads (TMR) subsidises the crossing supervisors (lollipop person) or the school may pay for them.
The ASP identifies new crossing points, or existing crossings in need of improvement, whether through linemarking, contrasting colour, raising the crossing to form a ‘wombat’, signalisation or lane and speed control.
School zone enhancements
A school zone is a time based speed zone that may be installed to regulate vehicle speeds in the vicinity of schools. The standard operating times for most school zones in Queensland is 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. School zone signs can be enhanced with the use of pavement markings to warn drivers of the need to slow down.
The speed limit in residential streets is 50 kilometres per hour and the speed limit in a school zone is generally 40 kilometres per hour unless otherwise signed. The objective of speed management is to contribute to road safety, mobility and amenity on public roads by providing a credible system of speed limits and to use physical measures where necessary to support the signed speeds.
Speeding vehicles and all other traffic violations are the responsibility of the Queensland Police.
Traffic calming devices as part of a Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) program can include concrete islands, roundabouts, chicanes and speed humps, banded turns, road closures, weight and width restrictions, one way streets, entrance statements, kerb widening and raised platforms.
Investigations may be requested where residents have concerns about speeding vehicles, pedestrian safety or "rat running".
Well-shaded landscaped pathways are important for walking and cycling, as they provide protection from the sun and inclement weather. Streetscaping also signals to drivers to slow down. Opportunities for streetscaping using shade trees, grasses and other plantings are therefore incorporated into ASP projects wherever possible.
Sometimes it is possible to create pathways on more direct alignments into schools, shortening the walking or riding distance. Where these opportunities exist, they are considered under the ASP.
Program investment has been structured to focus on building the infrastructure required to make walking and cycling more attractive followed by behaviour change initiatives, using the completed infrastructure as a basis for this mode shift.
The before and after impacts of the investment will be measured, to help focus the program on more effective combinations of infrastructure improvements and behaviour change initiatives.
Intended program outcomes
- To improve road safety
- To create infrastructure which supports sustainable travel modes such as walking, cycling, scootering and e-mobility
- To achieve mode shift from private car to active travel
- To alleviate congestion around schools
- To promote travel behaviour change.
Council is delivering its program in partnership with the Queensland Government, the Department of Education and the school communities. The Queensland Government already has a number of established road safety programs, particularly targeted towards younger, inexperienced drivers.
Council is working to improve public awareness of these programs and to expand the reach of the programs across all the schools in the region. Links to other key programs and funding guidelines:
There are many other road safety programs and initiatives, to find out more about these, or if you have any concerns about school road safety in your area, contact Council’s Accessible Schools Team on (07) 3205 0555 or email email@example.com.