It was encouraging to see that public education is going to be a major part of Kirkwood’s Complete Streets program for the promotion of traffic and pedestrian safety (Webster-Kirkwood Times, Dec. 6 issue). This is where we need to begin, but results will be slow and there will be resistance.
The city council needs to cajole the Kirkwood School Board to mandate driver’s education at the high school as a graduation requirement. This will teach not only motor vehicle safety, but also cyclist and pedestrian safety skills. The school district does have a wellness committee.
City council should begin working with St Louis County to require licensing of cyclists. If they are going to use the roads they need to demonstrate competence of traffic laws and cycling safety. There should be a required three hour course on cycling safety and applicable traffic laws, passage of a short test and payment of a small fee to obtain a county bicycle license. St Louis County has an Action Plan for Walking and Biking that could help with this.
Of course, attainment of measurable objectives of the safety program must be conveyed to the public in a timely manner. Unfortunately, what we will likely see in Kirkwood is more paint on our roads and flashing electronic signs that drivers and pedestrians ignore and that accomplish nothing of actual benefit.