Principal Nancy DeGarmo of New York Elementary says the school promotes its West Lawrence location as walk-able. However, a traffic study conducted at the intersection of 10th and Connecticut Streets proved to be an unsafe crossing for children walking to school.
The city's School Crossing Control Policy outlines the requirements that must be considered for appropriate traffic control, observing the number of children crossing the street and the number of gaps in traffic. While the number of children crossing Connecticut Street fell just short of the required 10, the lack of gaps in traffic met the city’s criteria.
On Monday the Traffic Safety Commission approved a recommendation for a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, similar to the one located at the intersection of 12th and Kentucky Streets. These crosswalks operate on a 24-hour basis making the intersection safe at all times, including when school is not in session. Principal DeGarmo supports this type of crossing and says a lighted crosswalk that allows students to push the button to signal when it’s safe would be better than the “guess and go” method young children currently use.
The decision to install any type of school crossing ultimately lies in the hands of the city commission, which will determine if it can allocate the money necessary. This type of crosswalk would cost the city $25,000 to $30,000 and would take nearly 6 months to design and complete.