Even though more than 1,700 students attended a new school this fall as the result of the Redwood City School District’s consolidation plan, traffic around school sites “flowed smoothly,” according to Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain.
That’s in large part thanks to a collaboration by the city, police department and more than 30 community members who volunteered to provide traffic safety services near schools at the beginning of the new school year.
The volunteers were honored at the Redwood City Council meeting on Monday for their participation in the Neighborhood School Traffic Ambassador Program.
This past summer, the city and the Redwood City Police Department launched the program as a way to prepare for new traffic patterns resulting from a school site consolidation that included the closure of four elementary schools, Hawes, Fair Oaks, Adelante and Orion. A budget shortfall and low district enrollment prompted the consolidation.
The community volunteers were trained by local police officers and ready to go on the first day of school, Bain said. They helped drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians find drop-off and pick-up locations, guided drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists on streets and crosswalks and answered traffic questions.
Additionally, Redwood City police also provided extra traffic support and contracted crossing guard services, Bain said.
“This traffic ambassador program was a big success,” the mayor said.
On Monday, the city offered cards and gift certificates of gratitude to the volunteers.
Redwood City police Chief Dan Mulholland said the program showed the power of community collaboration.
“All of us working together, we were able to help out family and kids going to schools, some of them going to new locations for the first time, and it was just a great team effort,” Chief Mulholland said.
To learn more about the program, go here.