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Duluth launches pilot program to address safety issues at Congdon Park Elementary

Duluth launches pilot program to address safety issues at Congdon Park Elementary
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 7:44 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - A new pilot program through the City of Duluth is addressing school safety by reducing speed limits around school buildings.

For some parents and students at Congdon Park Elementary, getting to school is a bit of a hike.

“So we live up in the neighborhood on the east side of Congdon Park Elementary and we live within the distance where we’re not offered a school bus,” said Nikki Olson, a Congdon Park parent.

According to Olson, who has three children at Congdon, she doesn’t mind most of the walk.

“We call ourselves walkers and there’s a big group of us and we’re happy to be walkers,” said Olson.

Olson said when she and her kids have to cross Superior Street in the middle of busy traffic to get onto school grounds, it can be dangerous.

“I think there’s been so many near misses, the busses are lined up and the traffic is going fast,” said Olson.

So Olson and her fellow parents started advocating for the City to intervene.

James Gittemeier, Senior Transportation Planner for Duluth said last week the City installed signs in front of the school, lowering the speed limit.

It’s part of the pilot program to address safety at Congdon Park Elementary.

“The speed limit when children are present in this corridor in front of Congdon Park Elementary is 20 miles per hour,” said Gittemeier.

Gittemeier said this program is the first of its kind in Duluth but could expand to other schools in the future.

“We’re looking at how this works and how effective it is, and how we can do this at other schools around the city,” said Gittemeier.

Expanding the lower limit to other schools is something Congdon parents like Olson would also like to see.

The pilot program is partially made possible by a state-wide initiative, for more information on that click here.

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