November 24, 2015
You can tell how much the Dutch care about traffic safety by looking at their school playgrounds.
On a recent trip to The Hague in the Netherlands, Queen Anne Greenways leader Mark Ostrow saw a playground painted as a mini Traffic Garden where young children could practice road safety skills.
Mark decided to follow up with help from Google Maps to see if many Dutch schools used big expanses of playgrounds to familiarize their children with road safety in a protected environment.
Mark notes wryly, "They even have little parking spaces."
Mark found Dutch elementary schools (“basisschool”) paint nearly the entire asphalt surface of their playgrounds with mocked-up road markings, so one can assume they are a common playtime activity and prominent part of the physical education curriculum.
Painted asphalt playgrounds would be a terrific complement to a newly launched partnership between Cascade Bike Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools to offer a three-week walk and bike safety curriculum to every third through fifth grader in Seattle Public Schools starting in the 2016-17 academic year.