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Crossing Guards - Ridley Park's dangerous assignment

Standing in the middle of the street with a reflective yellow vest and a hand held stop sign, Jerry the crossing guard dodges moving cars, and tries to avoid bodily injury every school day to help my grand daughter and me cross West Ridley to Lakeview; it's more than a dangerous assignment - it's an accident waiting to happen.

Over the past decade, the accident rate for crossing guards has increased 65% and School Crossing Guards have become one of the most dangerous occupations in local government. And no wonder, thirty years ago, over 50% of children walked to school, whereas today, the number's dwindled to only 15%.

The increase in car delivered children makes the school zone around Lakeview and the Middle School clogged with more traffic than they were designed to handle, and a lot more dangerous then was intended. Sit any morning at the intersections of West Ridley & Trainor, or West Dupont and Free streets and you'll see plenty of near mishaps every morning. These crossings are a mess with motorists in a hurry to drop off children and there's little regard for stop signs, cross walks and one-way signs.

Giving out tickets might help with an immediate problem but a successful campaign needs to address the public's' awareness and include police enforcement. As I see it, every morning at the corner of West Ridley & Trainor Streets, the most dangerous threat to Jerry the Crossing Guard and our children are the parents who are dropping off their children at Lakeview. A parent awareness campaign at Lakeview and the Middle School might help us avoid a dangerous conclusion to an avoidable problem.

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Comment by Kenneth Harper on September 4, 2011 at 5:19pm
Cars are already blowing by the stop sign @ Free & Ward St. in front of the middle school. Call 911 Thurday, to report this. Please stop @ the stop signs !
Comment by Greg Fox on November 29, 2010 at 6:36pm
If you want your town to be a safe place to live and raise a family, you must own your street. Pick up the trash that accumulates, keep an eye out for suspicious cars or people and make drivers aware of the traffic rules near your house. I have been throwing myself in front of cars and putting my safety on the line attempting to stop people from blowing my sign. I even went to the principle at the middle school with descriptions of teachers' cars that took the turn at the stop sign with screeching tires. Now I learn the police are not even on my side? Screw it. Let this place turn to anarchy. Maybe the best policy is to stock up on assault rifles.
Comment by james day on November 29, 2010 at 10:46am
Today (November 29th 2010) I walked past an officer in an idling RP Police car #363. I was glad he was parked behind the hedge in the line of site of the stop sign at West Ward Ave. & Free Street intersection. This stop sign is notorius for cars "rolling through it" and not coming to a complete stop. [This move is dangerous to pedstrians and is known as the "South Philly Stop".]

Well I was glad, I thought: "Finally after all the meassage posting & council meetings since September, he's going to catch somebody and start writing tickets...get the meassage out. Put the rep out that RP doesn't mess around & that are police are not like Barney Fife but more the reputation of Ridley Township Ticket Writers. There is a sign on the stop sign that states: Come to a complete stop or pay a $109.00 fine. Of course nobody reads this.

After I walked my kids to Lakeview & started back I watched a man in silver van blow right through the stop sign (08:50am) not even a slow down!!!!!!!!....I guess he didn't see the sign! I paused rieady for the lights to go up but The officer in the car did nothing. Next a truck rolled through (8:55) with not a complete stop. So I witnessed both incidents & expected the Ridley Park Police Officer to write a ticket. He did nothing....zip... ziltch...nada. He just sat there in the idling toasty police car.

You know what? Deputize me and I'll create a revenue stream for this bourogh so we can buy another Million Dollar Police Station to put far away from everyday citizens.

Really Lame...I mean c'mon! He watched the entire incident!!!!!!!!!! The van was doing 20 mph..

Now perhaps Just perhaps...he's a spotter and called in another officer to pull the guy up the street...I walked up the street past the Presby Church on the way to the train and saw no ticketing situation.

Maybe a video camera that takes picures of license tags of offenders is far more efficient & cost effective than a cop who does nothing.

Real Lame.
Comment by Howard McCoy on November 20, 2010 at 11:59am
Council Member Jim Glenn brought welcomed news at November's Borough Council meeting when he addressed the driving situation around Lakeview Elementary School and Ridley Middle School. Jim read two letters; one from Lakeview Elementary School Principal Gloria Goldeyand a second from Ridley Middle School Principal Adam Staples. Their letters both addressed the problem and the problem solving meeting that was held together with Council member Jim Glenn, Mayor Hank Eberly, and Ridley Park Police Chief Tom Byrne. Their letters acknowledged the driving problems around the two schools and suggested several possible solutions were being considered. In addition, each schools plans to send home a letter asking parents and drivers delivering children to and from school to practice courteous driving behavior.

This is a wonderful problem solving opportunity for our digital community to become involved in the solutions as well; not just the complaining. Our community's goals are courteously driving behavior and practical, convenient, solutions for pedestrians and vehicular traffic around our schools when students arrive and when their discharged. If RPOL members want to offer constructive solutions, you can email your comments to each Principle using this post (embedded hyperlink email address).

Since it not legal to have a "No Left Turn" sign on Trainor Street, I'm all ears for more solutions? As solutions move forward, I'll keep everyone up to date.
Comment by Linda Shockley on October 22, 2010 at 4:53pm
Previous post: just curious about the angle of the stop sign, it's no biggie.
Comment by Linda Shockley on October 22, 2010 at 4:39pm
Great suggestion, Howard, but do we need to extend it to 5PM? BTW, the second photo of the crossing guard helping a woman cross Trainor, is she holding the stop sign correctly? From the angle of the camera, we should see the sign almost edge-on if she was trying to get that van driver to stop but it looks more visible to traffic on W Ridley.
Comment by Howard McCoy on October 21, 2010 at 6:00pm
I think a sign on Trainor Street, No Left Turn 7A-5PM, would allow parents who drop off their children at Lakeview to pull onto West Ridley with the flow of traffic and would cease the need for driver's to dart out across traffic, and it would create a circular flow around the school.
Comment by Howard McCoy on October 21, 2010 at 5:53pm
Good suggestion. Here are two overhead views.


Comment by Linda Shockley on October 21, 2010 at 10:37am
What if Trainor Street were made one-way toward the school, then have a drop-off zone somewhere on school property, have all traffic exit somewhere on the other side? Don't know which street.
Comment by Howard McCoy on October 21, 2010 at 10:24am
Thursday morning's traffic was no different

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