Pune, 7th August 2023: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken a significant stride towards ensuring secure and equitable school travel for every child. These meticulously crafted guidelines, an integral part of the expansive School Travel Improvement Plan, have been shaped through intensive collaboration among schools, educational institutions, technical experts, and civil society groups.
A comprehensive document titled ‘School Priority Zone Guidelines’ has been meticulously compiled by the PMC road department. This report draws upon extensive analyses of the city’s mobility data, surveys, and constructive dialogues with school stakeholders. Notably, the data analysis has highlighted that 43% of educational journeys are accomplished on foot, while bicycles account for 4% of trips. However, the assessment has pinpointed several mobility-related challenges, encompassing unsafe street infrastructure, road-crossing difficulties, parking encroachments, deficient lighting, and antisocial activities around school vicinities.
The ‘School Priority Zone Guidelines’ present a range of practical and scalable solutions, nurtured during the Pedestrian Week of 2022 and validated through collaborative trials involving diverse schools. These solutions encompass enhancements to road safety, measures for traffic moderation, upgraded signage, and enhanced resting areas. As part of this initiative, the PMC has earmarked 19 priority zones within the city to concentrate efforts on implementing these new safety measures.
Key focal points of action comprise the enforcement of speed limits, efficient management of on-street parking, prohibition of liquor and tobacco sales near schools during school hours, and augmentation of bus services to cater to student transportation needs.