The Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is developing a Safe Routes to School program and has invited an expert to present his findings at a public meeting this (Tuesday) evening. The meeting will be held at 5:30 pm Tuesday, in the gymnasium at Grant Elementary.

Joshua Deifel, MPO supervisor, says the director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute was here last fall to gather data.

The expert's findings:

"His name is Dan Burden, and he will be here to discuss the results of a study that's been conducted that analyzes the surrounding areas of our city schools and safety issues with relation to how children are able to get to school, whether that's by walking or biking or other means. The whole purpose of this walkability study is to make sure that those children have safe access to the schools in the area."

Mr. Deifel says Burden will present his findings and make recommendations, and the public is encouraged to attend.

K2 Radio was with Dan Burden as he gave a safety tour around Dean Morgan Junior High in October. One thing he suggested on the tour was to get rid of the center line in the street.

Counter-intuitive but it works:

"Here's what happens when you get rid of center lines: Motorists don't feel that it's this high-category road any more that they're supposed to be driving much faster. When someone is parking or unparking, it's a safer movement. So in general, we would recommend that one of the schools start removing some center line stripe to see if we get speeds to come down and other operational performances to improve."

Burden explained during that October tour that a street without a center line feels chaotic to the driver, who then slows down.

Again, the meeting is May 10th, 5:30 pm, in the gym at Grant Elementary School, 1536 Oakcrest Avenue.