Back to School Program Protects Kids, Neighbors

Back to School program helps kids walk and bike safely
Back to School program helps kids walk and bike safely

"See that?" says Jane Solomon, a mother of school-age twins, pointing to an intersection that has a chipped-paint crosswalk and no traffic light in her Washington, D.C. neighborhood. "Death trap!"

As kids head back to school, making that crosswalk safer is more important than ever. The intersection is but one trouble spot along this 3.5-mile stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Washington where there have been more than 100 pedestrian injuries, including three fatalities, since 2000. Traversing the six-lane thoroughfare is especially perilous during rush hour, when a middle lane reverses direction and drivers ignore the 35-mph speed limit.

That situation galvanized Solomon and two friends to form Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action (CAPA) last year. Their mission: to make this major commuter artery, which cuts through a residential section of Northwest DC, safer for foot traffic.

They're not alone. In communities across the country, pedestrian task forces are working to protect residents, homeowners and renters alike.