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Youth Initiative Leads to New Crosswalk

Students at Washington High School have partnered with the City’s Traffic Engineering Division to help make safety improvements to the intersection of Cottage Grove Avenue and Forest Drive SE.

The students in a community-service language arts class looked for a real-world project to help improve their neighborhood and community, and reached out to the City of Cedar Rapids on options for improving the intersection near their school. The initiative led to new marked crosswalks, which were painted by the City’s Traffic Engineering Division on September 7.

“It’s rewarding to partner with high school students who are passionate and interested in topics that impact their community,” says Traffic Engineering Program Manager John Witt. “They were clearly interested in learning more about traffic control, and we enjoyed working with them and seeing their initiative come to fruition.”

The class conducted research on traffic control devices, and met as a group with members of the City’s Traffic Engineering Division to identify improvement options that were cost effective and beneficial for the area, which sees high pedestrian traffic from the school as well as the surrounding neighborhood. The collaboration supports the “CR Youth” initiative, which accentuates the City’s commitment to engage with and support the youth in our community.

“When students see context and real-world value to the skills they are learning, they are more likely to remember and retain those skills,” says Washington High School teacher Carrie Tinkham. “I am proud of the work these students have put in and the skills they have improved, especially in collaboration and communication.”


  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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