West View, one of four elementary schools in the North Hills School District, has the largest percentage of students who walk to school. About 30 percent of the school’s 525 students are considered walkers.
“Every year we come together as a coalition to support pedestrian safety, child pedestrian safety specifically,” said Michael Massof, the event’s organizer and community program specialist for UPMC Children’s Hospital’s Injury Prevention Center
. UPMC Children’s Hospital is the lead organization for Safe Kids Allegheny County.
“Every [Safe Kids] coalition across the country and across the world will be doing a Safe Kids Walk to School event on October 2,” he continued, adding, “FedEx has been an incredible sponsor for us and really made this event happen.”
Once all students were safely in school, the event moved to West View’s auditorium where participants were joined by community members for a short presentation by West View Police
Officer Matt Pavlecic.
Pavlecic discussed pedestrian safety as it pertains specifically to the West View Borough and shared local statistics. He also reminded families to talk to their students about paying attention while walking and avoiding distractions like cell phones.
He later opened up the discussion and heard from several event participants who shared their observations -- positive and negative, about what they saw Wednesday morning. At least one parent also spoke up about concerns she has with her children’s bus stop. The event was broadcast live on the district’s Facebook page. Watch it here
Pavlecic expressed his appreciation for the feedback, stating the department would be looking into the issues discussed. He also encouraged parents to contact the police department with additional comments or concerns.
“I think we always have room for improvement,” he said. “There’s a lot of good support and that’s what keeps West View a great place to live.”
He continued, “We really appreciate this. We care a lot about our kids. We care a lot about our residents and we just really appreciate everyone coming and being a part of this.”
The West View PTA
, West View Borough
and West View HUB
were also involved in Wednesday’s event.
State Senator Lindsey Williams and several members of the North Hills Board of Education were also in attendance.