PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket School Department (PSD) and the Department of Public Works have completed major school zone traffic safety upgrades district-wide. The improvements, which were made based on the findings of a district wide study of traffic patterns, are aimed at improving both the safety of the students and relieving congestion around school zones.

The project has included improvements to the traffic patterns of 14 of Pawtucket’s schools. The most recent improvements, made over the last year, have been at Potter Burns, Nathaniel Greene, Cunningham, Baldwin, Fallon, and Winters. Improvements include safer traffic patterns, safe drop-off zones, one way zones, and other safety features relative to each individual school. The project also included improvements to signage and pavement markings, and improvements to school parking lots.

“Ensuring our schools are safe is an important facet of giving our students a quality education,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “The traffic safety upgrades will help mitigate the congestion issues that come from the arrival and dismissal of our students, making it safer for them.”

The improvements were completed by a joint effort between the PSD and Public Works, with both organizations investing in the project. A total of $3 million was invested on improvements to the grounds around Nathaniel Greene and Potter Burns schools, a figure which includes numerous other investments beside the traffic improvements. Another $1.8 million was spent on Cunningham, Baldwin, Fallon, and Winters, bringing the project total to $4.8 million, split between Public Works and the School Department.

 “Our main goal with this project is to make sure that our students, especially those in elementary schools who might not know the full dangers of running out in the street, are safe” said Superintendent Patti DiCenso, “The project has accomplished exactly that, with the added bonus of relieving traffic around schools.”

As more funding becomes available, especially should Question 4 on November’s ballot pass, it is likely more improvements will be made. Part of the bond’s planned $220 million in investments is a $16 million investment on school safety.