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Study looks at San Diego's most dangerous school zones

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Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 21:34:25-05

SAN DIEGO - Schools are a place where children are supposed to feel safe, but a new study shows just getting there can be dangerous.

"One day, I actually [saw] someone drive their motorcycle on the sidewalk; that's how bad it got," said parent Kelly Oriol.

Oriol picks up and drops off her two kids at Urban Discovery Academy Charter in downtown San Diego every day.

"If I was to like not be with them, I'd be worried," she said.

Oriol said she's not surprised the school topped the list for most dangerous elementary school zones in San Diego -- data gathered for a study conducted by law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.

The list of city schools:

1. Urban Discovery Academy Charter (840 14th St.)
2. Central Elementary (4063 Polk Ave.)
3. Euclid Elementary (4166 Euclid Ave.)
4. Washington Elementary (1789 State St.)
5. Ibarra Elementary (4877 Orange Ave.)
6. Florence Elementary (3914 1st Ave.)
7. Rosa Parks Elementary (4510 Landis St.)

As for the rest of the county, Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, and Johnson Elementary and Cajon Valley Community Day in El Cajon also made the list.

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP hired a Mira Mesa-based researcher to study the number of car, pedestrian and bike crashes within a half mile of schools in 2016.

The study looked at 6,000 schools in the state of California and listed the top 486 schools.

Urban Discovery Academy released this statement regarding the study findings:

"Given our location in the downtown area, we are grateful that our school community remains such a safe place, with an exceptionally positive learning environment for our children. With the support of our families, our teachers and staff go above and beyond each day to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our kids; we continually revisit practices and protocols to ensure safety and school culture are top priorities. As a project-based learning school, we are also incredibly excited about the opportunities a creative hub like the East Village presents us with. We are grateful to have strong and growing partnerships with surrounding organizations who help provide real, hands-on learning experiences for our kids both in and outside of the classroom."

San Diego Unified School District sent this statement:

"San Diego Unified makes every effort to ensure that our students are able to travel to and from school safely each day. Our Prop. S and Z bonds continue to fund traffic and other safety improvements at our schools. We work with Caltrans and the City of San Diego on safety studies around our campuses. Our School Police department does hundreds of presentations each year to students and parents regarding traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety. We encourage principals to share school safety tips from SafeKids.org throughout the year. Last year, our Board of Education passed a resolution in support of Vision Zero San Diego, an effort to have zero traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025, by prioritizing infrastructure projects around schools and combining with education and awareness program."