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Sandpoint Wins Innovation Idea Award

Washington Elementary Student Safety Project worthy of recognition

Post Date:07/22/2019 3:16 PM

Sandpoint, ID – A collaborative project between the City of Sandpoint and Washington Elementary School second grade students addressing intersection safety concerns near the school has won recognition from the Idaho Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC).  The award was one of three Innovation Idea Awards presented by LHTAC at the 2019 Association of Idaho Cities annual conference in Boise. 

Noting unsafe crosswalk conditions adjacent to their school, the second-grade students at Washington Elementary  decided to address the problem as part of a “Design for Change” class project.  They presented a letter sharing their concerns to the Sandpoint City Council in March, 2018.  A video highlighted their safety concerns included cars parked in crosswalks, students not using crosswalks and not listening to crossing guards, snow blocking pedestrian ramps and crosswalks.  Working closely with Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon and their teacher, Charlene Hitchcock, the students developed a number of ideas for resolving the situation, which were then presented to City staff for consideration.

The solution implemented uses two gates at intersections along Erie Street to make it a one-way street during school pick-up and drop-off times.  Cars can only travel west on Erie between Lavina and Boyer during these times and designated lanes for vehicle loading/unloading improve visibility of pedestrians.  When deployed, the temporary gates on either side of the school zone slow vehicles and effectively reduce the volume of through-traffic. 

Commenting on the award, Mayor Shelby Rognstad said, “We appreciate the young students at Washington Elementary recognizing an important safety issue and engaging with the City to identify an innovative solution that is good for our whole community.  We believe this project is worthy of recognition and LHTAC agreed.” 

The City of Sandpoint shares its thanks with, and congratulations to, these innovative young citizens, who have committed early in their lives to active involvement for improving our community.

Contact:
Jennifer Stapleton, City Administrator
(208) 265-1483
jstapleton@sandpointidaho.gov

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