Parents at Gravenhurst Public School (GPS) have approached council to improve the safety of a school crosswalk.
Christina Hunter, Chair of GPS’s parent council attended the June 21 Committee of the Whole meeting with a request for a crossing guard or a crosswalk at James Street.
Hunter explained that the school currently has 265 students, only 20 of whom take the bus, “so we are a predominantly walking school.”
“A number of the students walk from Pratt Crescent, Fernwood Drive and they take the trail to head to the Ridge as well, ” she said, noting that Gravenhurst High School students also use the crossing area.
Hunter gave comparisons to other local schools: Bracebridge has three crossing guards at three “heavily trafficked crossings” and Huntsville has one crossing guard per school.
“Even though we have the most students walking, we have no crossing guard,” Hunter said.
Hunter said that students walking via other intersections can safely cross, but “the students leaving the backside of the school, on James Street, have no safety measures.”
Hunter then read a statement from OPP officer Sam Bigley, who also sits on GPS’s parent council. She agreed it was a busy street, with not just local traffic but also commercial vehicles. Biggs said she has watched traffic with her radar on many mornings and after school and knows drivers would be going much faster if her vehicle wasn’t there. She also said that the existing lines on the road are faded and re-painting them soon would be a step in the right direction.
Hunter also read some statements from parents who have had scares at the intersection, with cars rolling through, not waiting for pedestrians to cross and cars coming around the corner too fast. “It is an accident waiting to happen,” finished one statement.
Hunter concluded her presentation saying that the parent council would help in any way to promote a job posting and that they already had one interested party.
Coun. Varney was the first to voice her support. “As the councillor for Ward 1, I know that the condos over there, I worked with Mr. Stacey to get the flashing lights over there because they were having a terrible time being able to see around the corner. I absolutely would support a crossing guard there.”
Deputy Mayor Lorenz asked if it would make sense to do an analysis because there are people using the crosswalk year-round, and kids use it during non-school hours.
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