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Conestogo crosswalk to operate again next year

The successful reintroduction this spring of a crossing guard in Conestogo means the service will continue in the next school year.

Discontinued in 2007 because Woolwich was unable to find someone to staff the crossing, the service resumed in March when parent council at Conestogo Public School rallied its members to provide coverage.
Reporting to council this week, deputy clerk Val Hummel noted the service has been working smoothly since Mar. 22. Well enough, in fact, to continue, as she wants to assess the results over the course of a full school year.

Along with the reinstatement of signage and pavement markings by Waterloo Region – removed when there was no longer anyone manning the crossing – the guard has enhanced safety in front of the school.

“For the most part, motorists have been respectful of the crossing. Many non-residents have commented on the signage and now realize there is a school in Conestogo,” read her report.

Ward 3 Coun. Murray Martin said the feedback he’s received from residents shows the measures have been effective.

“I’m pleased to say it’s working well,” he said of the crossing.

The crossing on Sawmill Road at Evening Star Lane is well used, averaging 17 to 20 students per shift, as well as parents, caregivers and younger siblings.

In January, the school’s parent council, through its Conestogo pedestrian safety committee, arranged to staff the crosswalk, prompting the township to approve a temporary school crossing until the end of the year. The township is responsible for hiring crossing guards, and officially scratched the Conestogo location from its list in 2008 after trying for more than a year to hire someone for the job.

The crosswalk is staffed daily between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. and again between 3:20 and 3:50 p.m. at an estimated cost of $3,800 for the year.

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