Student Walking Safety
Our role at Erie's Public Schools goes well beyond educating students. Together with our partners at United Way of Erie County, the City of Erie and, most importantly, the citizens who live and work in the neighborhoods around our schools, we work to make sure our students can safely travel to and from school each day. That means identifying and, when possible, eliminating hazards along walking routes, hiring and training crossing guards to help students safely cross busy intersections, and giving you the information you need to report unsafe conditions along walking routes.
We know students can't learn if they can't get to school safely, and we need your help to make that happen. Please read on to learn more about hazardous walking routes and what you can do to help.
What are hazardous walking routes, and why should I care?
A hazardous walking route is a street or system of streets, whether specifically designated by the district or one informally used by students, that features unsafe conditions, which could include but are not limited to heavy vehicular traffic, damaged sidewalks, unleashed pets, unsafe behaviors (crime, drug use) and/or unmaintained grounds, including sidewalks or driveways blocked by snow or ice buildup.
These and other unsafe conditions make it difficult for students to travel to and from school safely, which impacts student attendance. When a student's attendance suffers, so does their learning. Just 18 missed days -- that's two absent days per month -- adds up to 10 percent of the school year. Put simply: Students learn best when they are in school, all day, every school day.
What is my role as a citizen in helping maintain safe walking routes for students? How can I help?
You can be a good citizen and neighbor by making sure you follow existing city laws regarding snow and ice removal, animal control, and parking. You can also report hazards along walking routes to the appropriate person/department (see last section).
Finally, please consider working as a crossing guard or a member of the Blue Coats peacekeeping initiative. Crossing guards and Blue Coats are vital partners in our efforts to ensure our students can travel to and from school safely.
What is the school district's role in helping maintain safe walking routes for students?
Erie's Public Schools partnered with United Way of Erie County, the City of Erie and the Blue Coats to launch the Safer Walking Routes to School initiative at the five original community schools in the district: McKinley, Pfeiffer-Burleigh, and Edison elementary schools and Strong Vincent and East middle schools. Read more about this important effort and find maps of routes for each of the five schools here.
Recognizing that safer walking routes are important to all students, the district and United Way are continually seeking additional funding from community organizations and individuals to expand the initiative to schools throughout the district.
What is the role of the City of Erie in helping maintain safe walking routes for students?
The City of Erie plays a crucial role in establishing and maintaining safe walking routes for students, including enacting and enforcing traffic laws and laws around snow and ice removal, animal control, parking, and property maintenance. This role becomes even more critical during the winter, when snow and ice present a major seasonal hazard to pedestrians. Click here for winter tips and other helpful information, including a map of snow removal routes, from the Department of Public Works.
Who should I call if I have a concern about a hazard along a walking route?
We are all responsible for keeping our students safe. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Please contact the City of Erie for all non-emergencies related to snow and ice removal, animal control, code enforcement, parking and traffic, and unsafe behaviors (crime, drug use, etc.).
The City of Erie's Erie Citizen Response Center is a clearinghouse for all complaints, concerns, compliments, and questions regarding City of Erie operations. You can call the center at (814) 870-1111 Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or submit an entry through the website. If you submit an entry through the website, you can monitor the status of your request and receive electronic updates.
If you do not receive a timely response through the Citizen Response Center, please call the following:
- the Erie Police Department for non-emergency concerns regarding traffic, parking, abandoned vehicles or unsafe/criminal behavior. (814) 870-1125
- the Office of Code Enforcement for issues regarding weeds, high grass or debris on a property or concerns about property maintenance. (814) 870-1470
- Animal Control and/or the Erie Police Department non-emergency phone number for any issues regarding loose or dangerous animals. (814) 870-1136 Animal Control, (814) 870-1125 EPD non-emergency
- Bureau of Engineering for issues related to snow and ice removal, sidewalks, and obstruction of the public right-of-way. 814-870-1371
Please contact your child's principal with concerns regarding attendance or unsafe behavior happening on school property or during travel to or from school.
For questions or concerns regarding maintenance of district property, please contact Assistant Superintendent Neal Brokman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students: Worried about a friend or something happening at school? See or hear something that makes you uncomfortable? Submit an anonymous tip through Safe2Say Something.
Thank you to the City of Erie and United Way of Erie County, our partners in student safety.