Children can practice how to cross streets and watch out for hazards without fear of injury as they walk and bike on the streets of “Safety Town,” a mock neighborhood created behind Warrenton Community Center at 430 E. Shirley Ave.
Following an adult leader, a group of youngsters Tuesday walked safely through mock intersections, a railroad crossing and a roundabout. Others tried the course on tricycles.
Safety Town is a venture of the Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department and the Bureau of Good Roads, an organization that promotes safety and street designs that serve all users.
Site work was donated by Payne’s Parking Designs Inc. of Bealeton. Payne’s work crew – James Oltmann, Cody Slaton, Josh Miater and John Rudy – power washed the former play court, applied a sealer, then painted the town layout.
“They all have kids and understand what this means to the county,” said project manager Clayton Payne of the crew members.
About 250 hours of work at a cost of about $20,000 went into the work, said Steve Payne.
The design work was done by Torti Gallas & Partners of Silver Spring, Maryland. The county paid for its work.
Safety Town was opened for use after a ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning attended by Sheriff Robert Mosier, Fauquier County Supervisor Chris Granger (Center), Warrenton Interim Police Chief Tim Carter, Fauquier Parks and Recreation Director Larry Miller and others.
Miller said Safety Town is open for all to use during daylight hours.
Fionnuala Quinn, director of the Bureau of Good Roads, called Safety Town “a play tool for young children to learn safety.” Older children can learn the rules of the road while riding their bikes on the course.
“If we start early enough it makes the whole process easier,” said Donald Johnson, chairman of the Fauquier Parks and Recreation Board.
Reach James Ivancic at email@example.com.