Hazardous Transportation Committee Procedures and Guidelines

 

A Hazardous Transportation Committee was organized for the purpose of making recommendations to the Anchorage School Board regarding designation of hazardous routes and other recommendations concerning hazardous transportation. The Committee will consist of individuals in the following positions:

ASD Director of Transportation - Chairperson
ASD Elementary Supervisor
ASD Planning Manager
ASD Risk Manager
Central Council PTA Representatives (1 - Anchorage, 1 - Eagle River)
Municipal Traffic Engineer
Municipal Police Department Traffic Division
Municipal Public Works Department
State of Alaska, Dept. of Transportation - Highway Design
State of Alaska, Dept. of Transportation - Maintenance
State of Alaska, Dept. of Transportation - Traffic Engineer

A standing invitation will be extended to the following:

Alaska State Troopers
Military Representative
Municipal Traffic Commission

Responsibility of the Hazardous Transportation Committee

  1. The Hazardous Transportation Committee shall be responsible for the inspection of all nominated roads, walkways, etc. that are considered to be dangerous for students as they walk to and from school. The nomination may be made by any citizen in the Municipality.
  2. The Committee will review nominated areas using the Profile For Student Walking Conditions (page 5).
  3. Individuals who make requests pertaining to areas where the Committee has no authority (i.e., street lights, traffic signals, signing, flashing lights, etc.) will be provided with information regarding the proper agency to contact.
  4. If the Committee designates the area hazardous a recommendation will be forwarded to Administration to provide school bus service or an adult crossing guard, which-ever is appropriate, to protect students from the traffic hazards.

 

Hazardous Route Request Procedure
Recognizing that many of the same hazardous conditions exist across the district, specific criteria have been developed to insure equitable consideration to all requests for hazardous transportation.

Any person may submit a request to the Hazardous Transportation Committee. The request may be made by letter, telephone or in person. The initial contact may be made to the Chairperson of the Committee or any of its members. The request should define the hazards, describe the location of the hazards indicating streets and/or landmarks, and a proposed solution. The Chairperson will schedule the request within 30 days unless the request is of such a serious nature to require immediate action.

The first time a location is called to the attention of the Committee, an on-site evaluation will be made using the ASD Hazardous Transportation Guidelines and the Profile of Student Walking Conditions form, if required. The petitioner(s) will be notified in advance of the date and time of the evaluation. A serious safety hazard is usually a situation which results from the presence of a combination of the factors which contribute to the hazard. The Hazardous Transportation Committee has identified the most relevant factors for each type of hazardous situation and will weigh their relative importance.

Prior to the Committee's review of a location proposed for hazardous transportation, the petitioner will be notified of the meeting time and place and requested to attend and give testimony. The Hazardous Transportation Committee will:

  1. Review and take action on the request.
  2. Notify the petitioner, in writing, of the Committee's recommendations and inform them of the appeal process.

 

Hazardous Transportation Guidelines
A route will be considered hazardous, if no adequate walkway is available along the route for 1/8 mile or more, unless the walking conditions within that 1/8 mile are too hazardous as determined by the Hazardous Transportation Committee using the Profile for Student Walking Conditions form.

Profile of Student Walking Conditions
This form will be used to assign a point value to areas that require students to walk along a street for a distance of 1/8 mile or less, or if students are required to cross a street. Hazardous Transportation Committee members will complete the form after conducting an on site review to obtain traffic counts and assess walking condition. Forty-five (45) points are necessary to qualify as a hazardous route.

Acceptable Walking Routes
The following walking areas are considered adequate for student travel to and from school:

  1. PEDESTRIAN TRAILS AND RELATED FACILITIES (sidewalks, walkways, stairways, overpasses, underpasses) - Areas designated or designed to separate pedestrians from the traffic flow and provide safety from vehicles. Approved pedestrian trails and related facilities are not necessarily maintained or lighted.
  2. INTERNAL RESIDENTIAL STREETS - Most schools in an urban setting, and some in a rural setting, are surrounded by or have adjacent to them a residential area that presents a walking situation up to 1 1/2 miles, even though sidewalks are unavailable and street lights may or may not be present.
  3. BIKE-PATHS
    • Class I - SEPARATED BIKE TRAILS are paved trails separated from the main stream of motorized traffic by a minimum of 12 feet.
    • Class II - SIDEWALK/BIKE TRAILS with curb are paved trails separated from the roadway by a 5' - 12' wide seeded strip.
    • Class IIb - SIDEWALK/BIKE TRAILS without curb are paved trails which have been extended from the pavement and separated by a guardrail.

Traffic
It is considered safe and acceptable for students to cross an arterial (defined as main street designed to move large volumes of traffic) assisted by an adult crossing guard, traffic signal, or a pedestrian overpass/underpass one or more may be used.

If these means are not available and the traffic situation provides adequate gap time in traffic, at least 60 gaps per hour, students can also accomplish a safe crossing unassisted.

Adequate gap time in traffic is defined as a gap greater than or equal to the number of seconds required to walk across the roadway plus a 3 second perception reaction time. Children walk at a speed of approximately 3.5 feet per second. Thus if a roadway is 48' wide, a minimum of a 17 second gap in traffic must occur at least once per minute.

Other Conditions
Conditions other than traffic may contribute to the particular hazards in some areas. Conditions such as temperature, wild and domestic animals and criminal activity in the area cannot be measured therefore only traffic conditions will be used by the Committee in their evaluations.

Special or Temporary Conditions
Any construction or traffic conditions which pose a hazard to student safety will be reviewed at regular or special meetings of the Committee. Recommendations will be made to the Superintendent on how best to protect students from the temporary hazard and the approximate time that the hazard is expected to exist.

Major decisions for recommendations of hazardous routes designation for the ensuing school year will be formulated by the Committee by the last week of March each school year. Information to affected group(s) will be disseminated to them and to the principal(s) affected by April 1. Affected parties will have an opportunity to present their viewpoints during April. Final recommendations from the Committee will be decided during the first week in May. These recommendations will be transmitted by the Chairperson to the Superintendent of Schools/School Board for their approval/disapproval in May. Final review of all routes will be made by the Committee in early August, however, no further deletions will be considered at that time.

If the Committee recommends the elimination of hazardous busing or an adult crossing guard due to improvements in safety conditions, the areas will be reviewed at least two times, once during the Winter and again in the Spring. Notification of the proposed changes will be disseminated to the Principal(s) of the school(s) affected, and to the parents affected. Ample time and/or meetings of the affected group(s) with the Administration will be provided for citizen input, objections, or their arguments for or against the change.

Notification to the affected group(s) will be accomplished by the following:

  1. Principal newsletter to parents
  2. Letter via U.S. Mail or the Administration to the President of the P.T.A. and affected parents
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