Community Safety Zones
Community Safety Zones are sections of road where the community has designated as an area where the safety of children/citizens is paramount. Community Safety Zones may be established in areas that include schools, day care centres, playgrounds, parks, hospitals, senior citizen residences and may also be used for collision-prone areas within a community. Traffic related offences committed within a Community Safety Zone is subject to increased fines. Many set fines are doubled such as speeding and traffic signal related offences. Parking-related infractions are not subject to increased penalties.
Motorists are informed that they are entering a Community Safety Zone through the required regulatory sign. As motorists enter the designated zone, the sign will display a “Begins” tab posted beneath; as they exit the zone the sign will display an “Ends” tab. Signs are posted at 300-metre intervals. A portion of Kalar Road and McLeod Road are the City's first Community Safety Zones.
Kiss & Ride Program
During a 20-30 minute period prior to school's commencement and after the school day, there is a large volume of motorists and children mixed together within a confined space both on school property and on the roadway adjacent to the school. As a result, numerous safety problems have developed that pose a safety risk to children. They include:
- traffic congestion - on the road adjacent to the school and in the school parking lot
- u-turns / 3 point turns- motorists that are reversing or carrying out turning maneuvers to not easily see children
- parents blocking driveways
- parents interfering with school buses
- parents double parking
- children crossing between parked / moving cars - there is a potential for accidents as children are not easily seen when walking between vehicles due to the average height of a child being around 3 feet
- illegal parking / stopping on both sides of the street
- children crossing the street unassisted to a waiting parent which is promoted by parents that are parking / stopping illegally.
The majority of the above problems deals with parents in school zones who are parking or stopping for their convenience and are compromising the safety of children.
The City of Niagara Falls in co-operation with local schools, the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board has implemented a program called the Kiss and Ride program. The Kiss and Ride program is the management of vehicular traffic through school sites in a planned and supervised environment. This is accomplished by designating a portion of the school driveway for the safe pickup and drop-off of children. Parents are encouraged to pull into the kiss and ride location and stop only long enough to allow their children to enter or exit the vehicle. No parking, or stopping for more than 1 minute is allowed. Volunteers wearing bright orange safety vests assist the child to and from the vehicle. Devices such as signs, traffic cones and pavement markings are used to identify the zones.
Each school in Niagara Falls is unique. The kiss and ride program functions well on school sites with semi circular driveways, however the program can function effectively at schools with singular access. A parking lot can provide adequate space for a kiss and ride program with some modifications to the existing parking configuration. The basic principals of the program remain the same.
A kiss and ride facility may be implemented at various schools, however, it's success is dependant on the commitment of the school and volunteers.
For more information on the Kiss & Ride Program, please call 905-356-7521 extension 5200.