‘They installed a speed bump’ : children’s perceptions of traffic-calming measures around elementary schools
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Under embargo until: 2020-10-08
Is part ofChildren's geographies
Publisher(s)Taylor & Francis
Growing scientific literature evaluates the impact of traffic-calming devices in terms of mobility behavior and safety, but little is known about their perceived impact from the point of view of children. Our study asks children about their perceptions of different traffic-calming measures around their schools. It draws on data gathered through eight focus groups, followed by walking tours with Grade 6 children (11–12 years old) (n = 65, 27 boys, 38 girls) from elementary schools in different urban contexts in Quebec, Canada. Qualitative analysis of the discussions shows that (a) vehicle speed is the main perceived threat for participant children; (b) children are confident about the effectiveness of self-enforcing traffic-calming devices that reshape the street geometry; and (c) they are skeptical about the effectiveness of ‘informative’ measures such as signs and lines (marked pavement). Our findings inform public policy for a more effective promotion of walking and cycling among children.