How Pedestrian-Friendly Are Our Schools?

The Road Safety Audit of Millburn Middle School and Millburn Schools' walkability according to Walkscore.com

Aamir Jamil and Zachary Turinsky

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How walkable are our schools here in Millburn? That is a question we attempted to answer using Walkscore.com. The website tells how walkable any location is, using pedestrian friendliness and amount of amenities close to the location. The chart below shows the key for walkability and how car dependent each score is.

Walk Score®Description
90–100Walker's Paradise
Daily errands do not require a car.
70–89Very Walkable
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50–69Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25–49Car-Dependent
Most errands require a car.
0–24Car-Dependent
Almost all errands require a car.

Below is the Walkability Map of all of Millburn’s public Schools. All of the elementary schools are blue, the 5th grade school is purple, the middle school is yellow, and the high school is green.

Millburn Middle School is the most walkable, but not far behind is Washington School and the High School, both two points behind each other. Behind them is South Mountain, Glenwood, and Wyoming.

Unfortunately, Deerfield and Hartshorn both rank much worse because they are further from downtown amenities. Clearly, there is a dramatic distinction between downtown schools and outlying ones in the walkability of Millburn township.

Sometimes, however, the walkability of a school is negatively affected by hard-to-manage traffic. This is what Stephenie Mallios, a parent conducting a safety audit with a local group of parents, determining the traffic problems of Millburn Middle School. Those parents are working through protocol mandated by the Trans Options Organization. The audit was conducted by taking pictures and observing the traffic situation during drop-off time.

We reached out to Mrs. Mallios to determine her thoughts throughout the audit, and she had a lot to say about the matter. In her opinion, traffic near the Middle School is very dangerous, mainly because of the speed on narrow roads and the increase in numbers of students and cars going to Millburn over the years.

On top of that, she said, on some roads going to the school, “there are no sidewalks, or even room for them, the open stone channels are treacherous to walk on, and the old roads have been paved over so often there is a ‘hump’ in the middle of the road which makes driving on one side feel awkward.”

To illustrate the scale of the problem, consider that even during the audit,  “one of the TO (TransOptions) reps he (Mr. Connolly) was walking with almost got hit by a car.” Moreover, the traffic problem makes parents consider driving their kids to school if they are only a few blocks away, compounding the problem, and being inconvenient for parents who have to drive their children to multiple schools.

Clearly this is a dilemma that needs to be solved. Thankfully, many things may happen because of this audit, namely “a lowered speed limit, reduced access, carpooling, more students taking the bus, and hopefully more students walking in the Knollwood neighborhood… (which) should be a pedestrian area.”

Although MMS has an extremely high walkability score, the traffic situation near the Middle School is pretty bad, but the community is hopefully determined enough to solve any problem which might arise.

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Aamir Jamil, Writer



My name is  Aamir Jamil. I love to play tennis, read, bike and ski. I like science, math and social studies.

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How Pedestrian-Friendly Are Our Schools?