The Faiseurs de Ville collective wants to create “school streets” in Toulouse. In other words, he wants to close the car access in front of schools at the time of entry and exit of children. The first experiment should take place in spring 2022.
Sometimes heavy traffic in front of schools, double-parked cars or sidewalks that are too narrow to the point of interference with the safety of children? This is the observation of the city makers, a collective created by four Toulouse engineers. So, pour “avoid accidents and give children back autonomy to make trips home-school alone “, they want to launch an experiment of “school streets“ : streets closed to car traffic during student entry and exit times.
“The goal is to work hand in hand with the management of schools and parents of students. Questionnaires will be distributed to find out how the project is received», Explains Raphaël André, member of the collective.
The experiment will be open to 166 schools in the city, according to figures from the rectorate of the Toulouse Academy. But the objective of the City Makers is greater: “have a global reflection on mobility in Toulouse“.
If parents no longer use the car to bring their children to school, they may think of another mode of transportation to get to work afterwards. It is a good gateway to transform the city and give more space to soft transport (Editor’s note: walking, cycling)
Raphaël André, member of the Faiseurs de Ville collective
According to an Ifop study, published in September 2020, the car is the first mode of school transport, even though 50% of children living in cities live within a 15-minute walk of their school.
The experiment is supported by the Fédération des Conseils des Parents d’Élèves 31 (FCPE 31). But according to the vice-president of the association, Eric Pinot, the safety of the children is in part no longer guaranteed because of the behavior of some parents who drop their children off at school by car. “Far too many people park on the crosswalk and cycle paths. It is extremely dangerous for children crossing the road alone. “He describes”tense situations at school entranceses “.
“The FCPE supports this experiment 100% but we are asking how it can be put in place. Rethinking traffic, hiring agents to manage traffic … it’s not easy“, worries Éric Pinot, father of a 9-year-old girl, educated at the Jean Jaurès school.
For City Makers, the application of this project is simple. “Several solutions can be imagined: school staff can get out of barriers, for example. The towns where the school streets have been put in place have had no difficulty in finding a solution “, rapporteur Raphaël André, member of the Faiseurs de Ville collective.
In other cities in France, the project has become sustainable. In Paris, 150 “school streets” projects have been implemented. An experiment was also launched in April 2021 in the city of Cugnaux, on the outskirts of Toulouse. The axis of the Léon-Blum school was closed to cars for more than a month between 8.40 a.m. and 9.10 a.m. and between 4.15 p.m. and 4.45 p.m.
In Toulouse, only the rue d’Artagnan where the Alexandre Falguière school is located is pedestrianized. The association 2 Pieds 2 Roues also wishes to see “school streets” develop in the pink city.
Toulouse city hall has so far not responded to our requests. A first experiment was planned for 2021 near the Marie and Pierre Curie nursery school.
“Philippe Perrin [NDLR : ancien conseiller municipal délégué au vélo, aux cheminements piétons et à la voirie] had gone there to see the traffic of cars. Work has been undertaken to install speed bumps, but that is not enough», Reports Raphaël André.
The experiment on all schools receptive to the project is scheduled for spring 2022. It would not last “firstly only a few days maximum to allow parents to see if this solution suits them “. An information meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 13 by videoconference via this link: https://meet.google.com/vjn-avyw-ggj.