The City of Calgary enhances pedestrian safety with in-street school crosswalk signs at K-6 schools

Crosswalk signThe City of Calgary is committed to prioritizing pedestrian safety by installing new in-street school crosswalk signs near elementary schools. Starting this month, the in-street school crosswalk signs are being installed with the goal of having the signs in place at all schools that include Grade 6 or lower by the end of the 2023-2024 school year. Any school that has Grade 6 or lower classes and has a feasible location for this installation will get this sign installed.

“Our studies have shown that this type of signage, that is brightly-coloured and located in the roadway are noticeable to both drivers and pedestrians and have been found to slow motorists down and increase yielding,” says Surendra Mishra, traffic engineer in The City’s Mobility Traffic Safety group.  

In a collaborative effort, we partnered with the University of Calgary during the 2020/21 academic year to conduct a traffic safety pilot project in proximity to elementary schools. The project aimed to assess the impact of in-street school crosswalk signs on driver speeds and the number of individuals walking or biking.

"We wanted to see if these in-street school crosswalk signs would lower driver speeds and promote safer conditions for pedestrians, particularly during peak times when conflicts between pedestrians and vehicular traffic are more likely to occur," Mishra says.

During the study, The City implemented different traffic calming measures at intersections near 52 randomly selected elementary schools. To evaluate the effectiveness of the measures, data on speed and volume were collected using pneumatic tubes and cameras.

The analyses showed a slight reduction in vehicular speeds at locations where in-street school crosswalk signs were present, particularly during morning and afternoon periods. Pedestrians also felt safer.

Based on the favourable results, we made the decision to install in-street school crosswalk signs at all schools that include Grade 6 or lower, throughout Calgary.

“We started installing the signs in the summer of 2021 as part of a pilot project. Many schools have had them for a while, and for others, it might be their first time seeing the signs,” Mishra says.

This is just one of many different traffic safety initiatives we undertake each year to ensure improved safety for pedestrians. We expect the signs to be installed at more than 300 locations across the city.