After several years of advertising, this course has finally launched an initiative to create safe school roads in the city. These are itineraries designed so that children and adolescents can walk independently to school.
It is, explains Clàudia Aznar, technical director of the Municipal Institute of Education of Tarragona, IMET, a paradigm shift that is being worked on by both schools and administration.
The centers participating in this first phase are Sant Pau, Dominiques, Teresianes, Saavedra, Cèsar August, LestonnacL’Ensenyança, Marcel·lí Domingo, Pax, Escola Ponent, La Salle Torreforta and the Institut Antoni de Martí i Franquès. In all cases, both management teams and family associations are involved.
Last year the schools, students and families of the centers participated in a survey to find out their mobility habits and needs.
The next step, at the beginning of this course, was to lay the theoretical foundations to raise awareness of the change both in the educational communities and in the different departments of the City Council. Mobilitat, Guàrdia Urbana, Imet, Territori, Igualtat, Medi Ambient and EMT, among others, participated. Aznar points out that this was necessary because walking to school, beyond implying mobility conditions, implies a change of mentality. “It is a process in which we have to train ourselves, gaining confidence,” he explains.
In the second quarter, the local police and the Mobility Department carried out a study of the mobility and safety conditions in the surroundings of the eleven educational centres. Both the municipal technicians and the centers participated in this process. Problems such as lack of signage, traffic lights, or the need for pedestrian crossings were detected here. Although in some cases the lack of budget has not allowed to go at the expected pace, some actions have already been carried out and it is expected that most will be finished by the end of this course.
Currently, the L’Escamot cooperative is conducting awareness workshops in schools and families to integrate sustainable mobility into their educational projects. Next month, in addition, it is planned that circuits will be carried out for families both in Ponent and in the center; a kind of collective rehearsal of what it would be like to go to school on foot or by bicycle.
The intention, Aznar points out, is for new schools to join next year that have already shown interest in receiving advice on the subject. At the same time, those who already participate are expected to take charge of their process.