Archive for Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pedestrian committee discusses Web site

October 2, 2008

Members from Eudora USD 491, along with city officials, citizens of Eudora and Safe Kids Douglas County formed the Eudora Pedestrian Safety Committee last spring in an effort to see more sidewalks throughout Eudora.

The group again met Friday to discuss among other things a Web site.

The EPSC has been at recent events in Eudora, where they have asked citizens to pinpoint problem intersections and areas throughout the city.

David Gerstmann, who owns broadcast automation company WireReady Newswire Systems, spoke to committee members about how the Web site could be used.

The Web site could feature pictures of those problematic intersections along with prices to correct the issues. The site might use price matching in order to raise funds. For instance, if it takes $1,800 to fix a given intersection and a group of concerned citizens and or the city paid $900, EPSC would match that $900.

“It’s a business idea that I had never even dreamed of,” said John Dreese, LMH community education specialist and coordinator for Safe Kids Douglas County. “It’s going to take someone like that — a local person to apply their time — to make that work.”

A timeline for the site was not set.

The group also is preparing for International Walk to School Day for students at Nottingham Elementary School, which will be Wednesday.

“It should promote awareness of safety, but also health,” Dreese said. “There is the concept that we are coddling our kids, so we are partnering with health experts that want kids to walk to school. Then, we have parents walk with them to teach them the safe routes to school. The idea is to gain support from not just safety people”

The rate of pedestrian deaths had dropped recently, but that is because there are fewer people walking. Pedestrian and bicycle numbers have fallen since the 1960s, when nearly 70 percent of students walked or rode a bike to school. Those numbers are down to about 30 percent now, Dreese said.

Representatives from the EPSC will be at EudoraFest Saturday to gather more data for the Web site.

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