New safety improvements for roads in Tacoma school zones

TACOMA – New flashing beacons and school speed-zone signs will soon be installed around Tacoma to make it safer for kids walking and biking to school. The city is in the process of implementing a Safe Routes to School program.

The city will spend $1.6 million to add flashing beacons and other street safety projects around over a dozen schools. Tacoma Public Works also applied for a $500,000 state grant to make changes near Lister Elementary and First Creek Middle.

“In Tacoma, we’ve been working for a while now to improve a lot of the schools and a lot of it has to do with funding so we’ve made some progress, but we realize there’s a lot more progress that needs to be made,” said project engineer Jennifer Kammerzell.

From 2010-2014, the city reports 222 youth ages 18 and under were hit by cars while walking or biking. Kammerzell believes the new safety improvements will get drivers to slow down around schools.

The city is scheduled to install the new speed zone flashing beacons in neighborhoods around 14 schools:

  • Lincoln High School
  • Mt. Tahoma High School
  • Jason Lee Middle School
  • Truman Middle School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Jenny Reed Elementary
  • Birney Elementary School
  • Stanley Elementary School
  • Pt. Defiance Elementary School
  • Lowell Elementary School
  • Downing Elementary School
  • Fern Hill Elementary School
  • Delong Elementary School
    Franklin Elementary School

The new safety beacons will be installed before next school year.

For more information on Tacoma’s Safe Routes to School program, click here.