Summit Elementary School Zone to Be Expanded Soon

Drivers who frequent Eight Mile Road and Northport Road please take note: The school zone on these two roadways is being expanded.

Anderson Township recently received approval from the Ohio Department of Transportation for a request to expand the 20 mph school safety zone at Summit Elementary. This zone will now include the intersection of Eight Mile and Northport, encompassing one of the most heavily utilized crosswalks in Anderson Township.

The Hamilton County Engineer’s Office will modify signage on Eight Mile to show expansion of the school zone within two weeks, weather permitting. Additional changes this summer include pavement markings, and upgraded handicap ramps with curbing at the intersection.  The Township and County area also discussing the installation of signs with beacons that flash during student arrival and dismissal times.

Anderson Township initiated the request based on concerns from Summit Elementary School parents, and after consultation with the County Engineer’s Office, Forest Hills Local School District and Summit Elementary administration. 

“Improving safety at crosswalks near schools and increasing walking and bicycling, where possible, to school were the two goals of the Anderson Township Safe Routes to School Plan,” noted Steve Sievers, assistant administrator for operations for Anderson Township.  This plan was the basis for township-initiated improvements around all nine Forest Hills School buildings, including upgrades at this intersection several years ago, Sievers added.

Summit Elementary Principal Michele Sulfsted noted that over 300 students walk or use a car pool at Eight Mile Road at Northport each school day. “Summit is a neighborhood school, and keeping all of our children safe on their journey to and from school is of utmost importance to the Forest Hills Local School District,” she added.

Summit parent Tom Turchiano was one of several residents who contacted the township last fall expressing concern. “It is great to see collaboration and entities working together to keep Anderson Townships families safe. The entire Summit Community is extremely grateful to the township for taking this issue and working to make it safer for the students and their families,” he said.

Parent Tina Nadler helped guide the effort that led to the improvements. "I am so appreciative of all that has been done to get this much needed safety measure accomplished,” she said. “Everyone involved, from the parents and neighbors who showed their concern by signing a petition, to the township for sticking with this through various roadblocks, should be proud that their efforts have made the children of this community safer."

Studies show that reducing speed around school areas makes a great difference in pedestrian safety. The risk of severe or life threatening injury for pedestrians struck by a vehicle is greatly reduced at vehicle speeds of 20 mph or less. In addition, data shows that more than 40 percent of pedestrian accidents happen between 3 and 4 p.m., at the end of the school day, Sievers said.

“It is critical to ensure pedestrian safety, especially at an intersection that is the primary route to school for so many children,” said Trustee Vice President Josh Gerth. “We are pleased to see all parties coming together to improve this situation and environment for walking to school.”

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