Parents are organizing to keep kids safe during the ongoing Trans-Canada Highway closure that’s rerouting traffic through town, taking turns to volunteer as crossing guards at the 11th St crosswalk.
Tessa Keefer, who has led the charge and helped get the volunteers organized, says that it was in part necessitated by the vehicle incident that occurred at that location earlier this month on May 4, which involved a semi-truck and two cars.
While no pedestrians were injured, she says she would rather be proactive in her approach.
“It became apparent that it was needed and the kids were happy to see me there,” said Keefer.
“All it really takes is one accident that does involve a pedestrian for us all to wish we had done this sooner.”
Twice a day, when kids are coming to and from school, which also tend to be peak traffic hours, parents have signed up to volunteer and guide the kids across the crosswalk.
It’s mainly about ensuring that kids are looking both ways and that all vehicles have stopped at the crosswalk.
Keefer says that she, amongst many other parents, has spoken to her kids about crosswalk safety, who have in general been very receptive, but that a little extra help can go a long way.
Overall, she says the response from kids and parents alike has been good.
“The kids, they always smile when I say can I cross with you, and I know the parents are a little more comfortable now as well.”
Keefer says that she believes the Ministry of Transportation should be supplying crossing guards in town during the closure, which has been seen in other cities and towns.
“It shouldn’t be up to us as parents to do this, it should have been a part of their plan when they re-routed traffic through town,” said Keefer.
“It’s crazy having pedestrians essentially cross the Trans-Canada, I can’t think of anywhere else where that’s a thing, it’s terrifying knowing that our kids are having to do that to get to school.
“Nowhere else is that something that a child would have to navigate.”
Keefer says that she’s hopeful they can keep the program going in the future, while this current closure is wrapping up shortly, there are future extended closures looming.
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