As a student who walks the halls of my school daily, it is very evident that safety is a primary concern of the school administration. With a parking lot across the street, many students cross Robert E. Lee Boulevard each morning and afternoon without a crosswalk. In addition to the parking that is available, many students also cross the street to study or dine at Chateau Cafe. Unbeknownst to many students, their safety is at risk each day. Cars frequently drive through the school zone at speeds as high as forty miles per hour. Needless to say, if a student were to be struck by a speeding car, it could be fatal. As a result, a problem has evolved. Students are expected to carefully cross when they see no cars approaching. Additionally, there are no proper signs to signal to the drivers to slow down or yield to pedestrians. Lastly, there is no crossing guard to assist students crossing the street at peak times of arrival and dismissal. This unsafe zone poses a threat to the safety of the students who subsequently cross this street on a daily basis. Although the issue may seem miniscule and unimportant, it is clearly not. Whether it be teachers or students, their safety is always at risk while crossing Robert E. Lee Boulevard. Being such a popular crossing area, administration needs to ensure that students have a safe way to cross the street.
In order to fix the dangerous risk students are facing each day, a crosswalk with a flashing yield sign should be installed on both sides of Robert E Lee. This will give a warning to passing cars that students may be crossing at any given time and that they must drive cautiously. Many drivers certainly see the students crossing, but it only takes one time for drivers to lose control of their car or be distracted by their cell phone to injure a student or teacher. With the sign requiring cars to stop, this will give students time to quickly and safely cross the street. The flashing lights on the sign will also allow night-time drivers to see students if they are coming from an extracurricular activity or school function. Students are given the reassurance that they are visible to the driver. This solution is practical and reasonable because it is not requiring a stoplight to be put at the crosswalk, which could potentially cause traffic to back up each day at the time of arrival or dismissal. With a yield sign being added to the corner, the cars are only required to stop when necessary. Another solution to help the problem is to hire a crossguard for the busy times of the day. The cross guard will help stop oncoming traffic and will aid the students crossing the street. Although it may seem unnecessary to have a sign, crosswalk, and crossguard, this safety hazard is extremely vital and must be corrected. These suggestions are feasible solutions and should be considered for implementation by the administration.
At this time, my school has a crosswalk painted on the road, which is certainly one step towards keeping the students safe; but many drivers may drive right past it without even noticing. The flashing yield sign would give drivers a noticeable way to see the crosswalk and realize that students may be crossing. This also improves the safety of students coming from night-time functions because cars will be able to see the flashing lights better than white paint on the road. The cross guard will be another improvement to help enhance the safety of the students. With the cross guard, the students will have just another way to ensure that they can cross the street safely. In addition to the crosswalk that is in place right now, these solutions are just a few of the many steps to building a safer way for students to cross Robert E Lee Boulevard.