School Safety: School Crossing Guard Program, School Safety Patrol, and Traffic Safety Design Elements

At the November 17, 2022 BPAC meeting, OakDOT Assistant Engineer II Lucas Woodward provided an update on how the Safe Streets Traffic Engineering Team works to address school traffic safety in Oakland. This includes a discussion of 311 requests, citywide programs, and capital projects.

OakDOT School Traffic Safety Supervisor Paul Cirolia then provided an overview of the School Crossing Guard and Safety Patrol programs, which moved to OakDOT’s Safe Streets Division from OPD as part of the Reimagining Public Safety efforts in 2021.

An excerpt is below, followed by the full presentations.

Work orders

  • Toolbox: Signs, pavement markings, curb paint
    • Sometimes: posts, hardened centerlines
    • Schools may also submit applications to speed bump program
  • Prioritize safe walking and biking over passenger loading
  • 15 MPH Zones

Capital projects

  • School Walk Audits
  • Service requests beyond the scope of work orders
  • Usually $1.5 million/year
  • Other OakDOT teams also implement capital projects with other funds

Capital projects 2023-2025 (DRAFT)

  • Address recommendations from all walk audits through 2021-2022 school year
  • More spread out throughout the city than past years

Walk audits

  • Approximately 5 per year
  • Led by Alameda County Safe Routes to School
    • OakDOT attends, contributes observations, reviews report
  • Consultants, School Staff, Parent Volunteers
  • Site Selection:
    • Collision history
    • Demographics of school and surrounding neighborhood
    • Student health metrics
    • Recent walk audit history
  • Very long timeline
  • Used to build capital project pipeline
  • Immediate needs better suited to work orders and non-infrastructure efforts

OakDOT and Comprehensive, Coordinated School Safety

The integration of the School Crossing Guard Program into OakDOT’s Safe Streets Division in 2021 allows for increased coordination to address the traffic safety needs of Oakland schools.

The School Traffic Safety Supervisor that oversees the Crossing Guard program as well as Oakland’s Safety Patrol Program regularly meets with the OakDOT Traffic Engineering staff focused on school safety to inform and evolve a more coordinated approach to school traffic safety in support of Oakland’s Safe Oakland Streets initiative, which was presented to City Council in March 2021.

As OakDOT continues to implement targeted, permanent infrastructure improvements to slow speeds and increase safety citywide and including near schools, these improvements may reduce the need for crossing guards at some locations in the future.

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