Class is back in session. But not all walks to school are created equal.
The city’s most dangerous schools when it comes to pedestrian-motorist collisions are all near busy intersections with multiple lanes of commuter traffic, according to Global News analysis of collision statistics obtained through freedom of information. The statistics show all vehicle collisions from January, 2000 through November, 2013. We calculated exactly how many people have been hit by a vehicle within 100 metres of every Toronto elementary school.
Valley Park Middle School, near Don Mills Road and Overlea Boulevard, ranks worst, with 28 pedestrian-vehicle collisions. That’s an average of more than two accidents per year.
(Although a middle school, Valley Park showed up in our data because it has Grade 6 pupils.)
Tied for second place in terms of pedestrian safety are Downtown Alternative Public School, on Lower Jarvis Street south of Front Street West and St. Aidan Separate School, on Finch Avenue East east of Warden Avenue. The areas around these schools had 26 pedestrian collisions each between 2000 and 2013.
All three schools are near, or face, busy traffic arteries.
“At the end of the day what we are really talking about here is a volume problem,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner for the city of Toronto. “We need to ensure that we are designing our schools not for cars, but for pedestrians and making it safe for pedestrians.”
And while the onus is on drivers to look out for pedestrians, police say, it’s important pedestrians to stay alert, too.
“I would say crossing becomes a shared responsibility,” said Toronto Police Const. Hugh Smith.Schools with pedestrian collisions nearby »
Top ten elementary schools for nearby pedestrian injuries, 2000-13:
1. Valley Park Middle School: 28 collisions
2. Downtown Alternative Public School: 26 collisions
3. St. Aidan Separate School: 26 collisions
4. Eglinton Junior Public School: 24 collisions
5. St. Monica Separate School: 20 collisions
6. Ryerson Community School: 20 collisions
7. Pope Paul Separate School: 19 collisions
8. St. Helen Separate School: 18 collisions
9. Morse Street Public School: 18 collisions
10. Galloway Road Public School: 18 collisions