City services | May 26, 2022
The City of Mississauga’s School Streets Pilot Project is demonstrating that there is a safer, greener and more enjoyable way to make the journey to and from school. Currently, in Mississauga, approximately one-third of students get to and from school by car. Many schools are facing temporary congestion during drop-off and pick-up times. This creates traffic dangers, frustration for residents, a high concentration of greenhouse gas emissions around the school and lost opportunities for students to get physical activity.
A School Street is a temporary, car-free environment in front of a school that is set up Monday to Friday during morning drop-off and/or afternoon pick-up time. It creates space and prioritizes safe conditions for students and their families walking and rolling to and from school. Two School Streets pilot projects are currently in place at three Mississauga elementary schools:
During the pilot, students and their families are encouraged to walk, ride their bike or use another form of active transportation to get to and from school. Those who live too far to walk or roll the full way to school can park five to 10 minutes away and walk or roll the rest of the way.
Volunteers are on-site to help drivers navigate the closure and safely access their homes within the closure area if needed.
A message from Mayor Bonnie Crombie
A message from Ward 3 Councillor Fonseca
To ensure the pilot met the needs of the school and residents, the planning process involved significant involvement from the local communities. This included getting input from local residents, parents and guardians of children at the schools, school board trustees and superintendents, local representatives from the BIAs and community organizations and local high school students.
The street also becomes a space for community building and connection. During class time, the schools have used the space as an area to make art, play co-operative games and practise bike skills.
Grade 8 student leaders from Hillside Public School share their experience with the School Streets pilot project.
St. Alfred Separate School teacher shares the impact of School Streets on students and families.
The school locations were chosen following a comprehensive review of several factors. This included street design, the proportion of students living within walking distance of the school, equity factors and the schools’ previous engagement in active school travel programming, such as the City’s School Walking Routes Program.
Using the data, resident feedback and experience gained through the pilot, the City will look at opportunities to expand the program to other school sites in Mississauga.
To learn more about Mississauga’s School Streets Pilot Project, visit mississauga.ca/schoolstreets.
“Traffic in our school zones does not need to be the norm – the School Streets program has proven there is a safer, greener way. Biking, walking or rolling to school helps you stay healthy, creates safer streets and is good for the environment. I want to thank the staff, students and parents at Hillside Public School, St. Alfred Separate School and Brian W. Fleming Public School for their participation, as well as local community members for their support of this innovative new program.”
– Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie
“As an approved action within our Vision Zero Action Plan, the School Streets Pilot Project is contributing to the work we are doing here in Mississauga to make our roads safer for students and their families. School Streets is one more tool in our tool box that we can use to help address safety concerns in our school zones. In addition to the School Streets Pilot Project, we’ve also lowered speed limits and have Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras in different school zones. Our crossing guards continue to help students cross the road safely and our School Walking Routes program promotes active travel and alerts drivers to watch for children.”
– Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works
“In recent decades we have seen a significant decline in rates of walking to school and a marked increase in traffic volumes in school zones, with many schools under siege to vehicles daily. School Streets are an important opportunity to reverse these trends by reducing traffic congestion and air pollution around our schools, creating a healthier, cleaner and safer space for kids and families. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with and support our local partners to implement this exciting initiative, and we are keen to see School Streets appearing in more Canadian communities following this pilot in Mississauga.”
– Kate Berry, Program Director, Green Communities Canada
“By allocating most of our street space to cars, we have limited the opportunity for our children to walk, bike or roll safely to their schools and be healthy and active as a result. By temporarily creating car-free zones outside schools, School Streets not only make it possible to walk, bike or roll to schools but also reclaims those streets as a public space for students. We are thrilled that, after months of planning and engaging with the community, the City of Mississauga has piloted two School Streets. I’m confident this will be an inspiration to others in Ontario and Canada who are planning their own School Streets pilots.”
– Jiya Benni, Project Manager, 8 80 cities
Photos and B-Roll
Kindergarten students at St. Alfred Separate School sing a song about bike safety.
Mississauga celebrates School Streets Pilot Project. L-R: St. Alfred Separate School Principal Julie Lavalle, St. Alfred Separate School Vice Principal Adamo Di Giovanni, Superintendent Mississauga East Family of Schools Cairine MacDonald, Director of Education Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board Marianne Mazzorato, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board Trustee Mario Pascucci (Wards 1 & 3), Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Ward 3 Councillor Fonseca, Mathew Thomas, Superintendent of Planning and Operations, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Councillor Fonseca with School Streets volunteers.
City of Mississauga Media Relations
905-615-3200, ext. 5232