As you are all aware, one of our children was struck by a car this week on his way to school at the intersection of Illinois Avenue and Robertsville Road. I believe that this accident was avoidable and I am determined to see action taken to prevent any such incident from occurring again.
For the past 3 mornings, from about 7:20-7:50a.m., I had the opportunity to station myself at this intersection with the intent of assisting any children who might be walking across either of these busy roads. And while I did not encounter very many children attempting to cross at this juncture, I did observe and learn the following:
– Some cars coming from the direction of Oliver Springs are exceeding 50 mph
– At least 2-3 cars run the Illinois red light daily within this 30 minute window
– Without an adult to prompt them, children continue to ride their bicycles across this intersection – even one who knew about the accident on Monday and had people tell him that they thought it was him
– Some children are crossing in the middle of Illinois Ave near the back entrance to RMS rather than a crosswalk
– Multiple buses drive through this intersection each morning
– At least one child crosses this intersection much earlier than 7:15 to participate in some sort of extra-curricular program at RMS
– At least one child crosses from the side of RMS on his way to ORHS
– The extremely dangerous nature of this intersection may have contributed to the loss of the crossing guards last year and may well be a deterring factor in the lack of willing replacements
– It appears that it would be safer to cross Illinois Ave via the south side light to ensure more of a buffer from cars coming from the Oliver Springs direction – yet children, when not intercepted, opted to cross on the north side
Of course, this is not the only dangerous intersection our children are crossing. I’m not convinced that a crossing guard posted at each is even an effective solution. But until something is done to remedy this problem, I will make this a personal priority and will continue with my efforts.
I would like to believe that this issue is a priority for all of you as well. I invite each member of the city council and the school board along with the superintendent and the city manager to join me any day next week at the intersection of Robertsville Road and Illinois Ave between the hours of 7:20-7:50 a.m. so that you may actively engage in finding an immediate solution to this critical problem.