A schoolstreet is a temporary closure of one or more streets. The main purpose is to create a safety area in which children can easily walk or ride to the schools.
In 2001, 16 years ago, the Municipal police (local police) of the Municipality of Bolzano, decided to close temporally some streets near schools. The main motivation was to stop the increasing amount of vehicle accidents, which occurred in front of local schools due to the high traffic coinciding with the children's entrance and exit times. The project tried to include different target groups, e.g. the shopkeepers in the neighbour, which could choose to exhibit special stickers on shop windows, with which they indicate their willingness to welcome and help children in difficulty or elderly people that were engaged as a crossing guard
Transformational Measures and Activities
- The municipal police closes both sides of the chosen street, with a particular sign 15 min before and 15 min after the children's entrance and exit times
- Use of a special kind of human resource: the “crossing granpa guard”
- Children and their parents walk or bike to school more often.
- Children feel more confident
- Children start to know better the city and their neighborhood
Challenges, Opportunities and Transferability
The initiative initially raised complaints, particularly among teachers and residents but when the results of the measure became clear it was already been accepted as the normality. Street schools:
- Helped in reducing the number of accidents
- Created the basis for the development of an alternative and eco-sustainable mobility
- Support the children’s moving autonomy and contribute to their city knowledge