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Woolwich postpones decision on St. Teresa crossing guard

The numbers from six studies don’t warrant a crossing guard at St. Teresa school in Elmira, but Woolwich council wants another review before denying the request.

Setting aside a staff report discussed January 8, councillors decided another study should be done after an ongoing construction project is completed, allowing regular traffic patterns to resume. While part of the property was fenced off, the school was directing parents to the parking lot of the adjacent St. Teresa of Avila Church, changing the usual traffic flow.

The call for another review puts on hold deputy clerk Val Hummel’s report calling for the township to turn down the request for an adult crossing guard at the intersection of First Street and Robin Drive. Her recommendation came following six so-called warrant studies, twice the usual number used to determine if there are enough traffic issues to warrant a crossing guard.

“The three afternoon warrant studies showed that a crossing guard is not warranted,” reads the report. “Most students cross within five minutes of the dismissal bell, and a full 30 minutes of supervision would be excessive. The morning results showed mixed results, but still did not strongly indicate a need for a crossing guard.”

Instead, she recommended student safety patrollers be used to help younger kids cross when necessary.

Council’s decision to review the situation was welcome news to Shelley Deyell, chair of the parent council, who made a pitch for a crossing guard to be hired.

“We feel the presence of an adult guard is safer for all who cross there,” she told councillors.

While parents have been using the church parking lot for drop-offs and pick-ups, that arrangement is only temporary, said Deyell. The school board won’t arrange for snow removal along the path between the two lots, and liability concerns prevent the construction of a sidewalk between the properties.

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