Joint Partnerships with the City of DentonCurrently, Denton ISD is partnering with the City of Denton on some exciting projects. The first is an advisory role on the City of Denton’s bicycle committee. District representatives have provided input on the location of bicycle lanes throughout the city that offer connectivity to Denton ISD schools.
The second is also in an advisory capacity, serving on the City of Denton’s sustainability committee. Issues such as land use and development, public education and community involvement, energy and air, waste management, transportation, water resources, green buildings and sustainable site management, products and minerals, and natural resource conservation are topics of discussion. Information gleaned from these meetings will help create more sustainable city and district facilities.
The third joint initiative is the Safe Routes to Schools Program benefiting public or private schools K-8th grade that encourage students to walk or bicycle to school. By working with the City of Denton to develop a SFTS Program, the District may be eligible for appropriations from the state or federal government that fund physical improvements to walkways, trails, bikeways and fully accessible crossings. The SFTS Program is divided into five basic elements: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation.
Finally, Denton ISD continues to promote its Sustainable Schools Program. Thirty Denton ISD schools participate with the City of Denton’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department to provide recycling service and environmental education to students. Schools earn annual environmental award money based on the amount of recyclable material diverted from the waste stream.
The more the City of Denton and Denton ISD works together, the more efficient both governmental entities can be to the constituents we serve.
School ZonesDenton ISD Operations & Transportation staff works directly with the local governing body or municipality to determine the “Best Routes to Schools” for students. These routes are analyzed along with the type of street to be crossed (i.e. arterial, collector or residential). The location of the crossings is also assessed relative to the location of traffic signals or stop signs in the area. If it is determined that a zone is needed to protect a cross-walk, an ordinance is required because it is different than the state’s prima fascia law (30 MPH) or the posted speed (if higher than the prima fascia).
At this point, a determination of the need for a crossing guard is determined. The City of Denton uses criteria that set the type, number and placement of all school related signs. Typically, if a school zone is controlled by a stop sign or a traffic signal, a zone is not installed. Denton ISD staff meets monthly with City of Denton engineering staff to review current and future school routes and circulation needs. If there is a particular crossing request that requires a zone, even if the criteria does not necessitate one, Denton ISD staff and City of Denton representatives can evaluate to see if the need is such that an exception to the criteria is warranted.
Reduced speed zones are installed to protect children that cross the street. Virtually every street has children that walk along it but do not cross. To install a zone for every street for which children walk adjacent to high speed and/or high volume and/or high vehicle mix roadway would require a vast majority of the roadways to have zones. This is impractical and would lead to a great deal of frustration by the driving public and causing those zones that are truly needed to be at risk. The police would also have the impossible task of trying to enforce all of these zones.