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Student Safety Upgraded at Richmond Elementary School
September 30, 2002

Students to Celebrate Flashing Crosswalk in Dangerous Intersection


    A group of East Bay students has a lot to celebrate Wednesday as the

country marks Walk to School Day to underscore the importance of pedestrian

safety and exercise.


    Students at Grant Elementary School in Richmond will officially "welcome"

a new flashing crosswalk at a dangerous intersection at 23rd and Clinton at 8

a.m. on Wednesday. The students, lead by a fifth grade class, had petitioned

city officials last February to improve safety around the school and at the

intersection. City Council member Mindell Penn, who heard the students'

testimony, and City Engineer Rich Davidson will be recognized for their

efforts to improve safety.


    Grant is one of 11 schools in Richmond participating in Walk to School

day with poster contests, assemblies and other activities.  (For more

information about all of the activities, contact Charemon Cooks at (925)



    "This has been a great learning experience for the students," says 5th

grade teacher Brad Washburn. "They took their concerns to City Hall and found

out that elected officials do listen and will act." The students had told

Penn's Public Safety Committee how dangerous it was to cross 23rd street

because it was poorly marked and cars drove too fast.  A number of children

have been struck by cars in the intersection, which is one of the most

dangerous in the county.


    Sandi Genser-Maack, President of the North & East Neighborhood Council,

which worked with Grant to improve safety, says neighbors are pleased that

the city stepped up to the plate and made significant improvements. Besides

the flashing crosswalk, the city installed high visibility green school zone

signs and made other improvements around the school.


    National Walk to School Day, which is being sponsored in Richmond by

Contra Costa Health Services and the West Contra Costa Unified School

District, will see thousands of families across the country walking to school

to promote a range of issues such as pedestrian safety, traffic safety,

community walkability and physical activity to prevent adult and childhood

obesity.  # # #