The City of Bothell, in partnership with the Northshore School District (NSD), kicked off its new Pedestrian Safety Flag Program last week at Frank Love Elementary School.
The flags were installed last week at 10 locations near 12 schools, including Canyon Creek, Crystal Springs, Frank Love, Maywood Hills, Shelton View, Westhill, Woodin and Woodmoor elementary schools, Canyon Park, Northshore and Skyview junior high schools and St. Brendan School.
The kick-off event featured remarks from Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume, NSD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, NSD board President Amy Cast, Frank Love teacher Greg Wirtala and flag program volunteer Marykay Branscomb.
“This has not been an easy thing to deal with in the last couple of years with all the traffic,” Wirtala said. “People are more concerned with getting home than the safety of the kids.”
The pedestrian flag program is the city’s first school safety program funded by the Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy, approved by voters in November 2016. According to a release from the city, student pedestrian safety was one of the top issues Bothell leaders heard from families and community members when the city developed last year’s levy.
“It was very concerning for us as elected officials,” Rheaume said.
He said the flags were a low-cost and easy-to-implement part of the levy, allowing for a “rapid rollout.” He added that even with the flags, it’s important for pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings as they cross an intersection.
Reid, Cast and Branscomb indicated a desire to continue working with the city to ensure students’ safety.
“It’s our real pleasure to be part of this partnership,” Reid said. “Great communities do what good communities think.”
Cast added that these kind of partnerships that reach beyond school boundaries are vital.
“We look forward to working with the city more,” Branscomb added.
After installing flags at key school crossings in Bothell, the city plans to expand to other high-pedestrian areas such as parks. For more information, visit www.bothellwa.gov/safestreets.