Putting in the Leg Work

Lindi Harding
St Augustine's School

St Augustine’s is situated in a unique place for a Primary School. It sits on top of the hill right above the intersection of some of Perth’s busiest roads - Orrong Rd, Graham Farmer Fwy and Great Eastern Hwy. Students attending our school live in all 4 quadrants of this intersection, so getting to school can be a real challenge, particularly if you need to join the busy traffic on these roads.

Left: Google Maps with traffic overlay. Right: Google Maps with walk/cycle routes overlay

Naturally, parents and caregivers have found that parking in the closet quadrant to their home or workplace and walking the rest of the way is not only more efficient but a great way to teach road awareness, environmental sustainability and give their children an extra 5 minutes of fresh air an exercise.

We have great walking and cycling infrastructure in place to help make the journey straightforward for families living on the other side of the main roads.

Footbridge over Orrong Rd

Surrey Rd Tunnel Under Great Eastern Highway (bonus bike repair station!)

Beautiful Mural in Surrey Rd Tunnel

While we do have the Park and Walk organically occurring already, I have been thinking about how we could start a Park and Walk Initiative from the quadrant where the majority of the students live - the same quadrant as the school is situated.

We have a great playground close by which could be used as a start/end point for the park and walk - it is a 5-10min walk to/from school along the ‘Safe Active Street’ with 2-3 opportunities to learn to safely cross relatively quiet roads along the way.

My own family are currently staying too far away from the school to travel the whole distance in an active way plus one of my Term 1 parent pledges was to do more ‘Park and Walking’. So I have been testing the journey with my children this week in anticipation of starting a new initiative for this quadrant in Term 2 (all around Walk Safely to School Day). It has been really pleasant to start and end the school day with a bit of walking- the kids seem more relaxed when they arrive at school and also when they get in the car to return home - walking has that meditative effect!

Some issues I foreshadow from my experience is that the playground doesn’t have any formal parking areas. Street parking on Gladstone Rd can get quite busy and I’d rather not encourage more traffic to enter Surrey Rd (Safe Active Street), let alone encourage cars to park on it. I might chat with Crawford at the City of Belmont to see if he has any suggestions here.

Discuss this story


Please login to comment

James (Your Move)

Thanks for sharing all that background about the location and surrounding facilities of St Augustines. I have been there a few times but didn't know about the spectacularly decorated tunnel. It is good to have a better understanding of the access around the school. You have made a great start to getting a Park and Walk running next term - and have earned 15 points in the process, plus 20 points for your extensive reflections. Let us know when it launches and you can get the big 60 points each term that your Park and Walk operates.

Report comment