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Just One Suggestion

POSTED February 15, 2012 10:31 a.m.

Dear Editor,

First off, I want to say that I appreciate that the crossing guards are trying to keep our children safe. I do understand that there are a lot of rude and self-absorbed drivers out there who don’t consider anyone but themselves.

That said, I would like to offer an explanation as to why some drivers get angry or blow right through the crosswalks: I often travel through the West F Street/Lee Avenue intersection while children are going to school, and more times than not the ground-level crosswalk lights are flashing while the guards are standing away from the road with their signs down, and there is no one to be seen in any direction either waiting to cross or having just crossed. More than once I have seen, with no pedestrian in sight, one of the guards stand by the post pushing the button to activate the flashing lights, and other times push the button and then walk away. Is it a state law that the lights be flashing constantly on a highway? Or are the crossing guards simply trying to make traffic slow down to below the posted speed limit by keeping the lights flashing? Either way, it’s very much like the boy who cried ‘wolf!’ People slow down and stop because of the flashing lights (as they’re supposed to do), but, since no one is crossing or waiting to cross, they and the drivers behind them get frustrated and, yes, even angry; it also creates unnecessary traffic slow-downs. After experiencing this day after day people naturally start ignoring the flashing lights.

If the crossing guards could make sure that a child (or adult) is ready to cross the street before pushing the flashing light button it would go a long way towards good driver-guard relations.

Sincerely,

Arlene Park

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