Oak Ridge has two very dangerous intersections (Robertsville Rd. & Illinois Ave and the OR Turnpike and Illinois Ave) at which children as young as elementary school age are crossing daily (and have been for the last year) without the assistance of a crossing guard, speed zones or police presence of any kind. Last month, a little boy was struck by a car at one of these very intersections. And while his injuries were not life-threatening, his accident illuminates a problem that has been brewing for quite some time.

For the last two weeks, I have stood at one of these intersections offering my assistance to these children and monitoring the traffic problems. I’ve also appealed to our local government (see Aug 31st post below) for their assistance. To date, no corrective action has been implemented.

I’m committed to continuing to be directly involved in solving this problem but am limited in that I am only one person. My experience as the security team scheduler for my church tells me that with just a little bit of help from others, we can make this work.

My first thought is to devise a monthly schedule for each intersection and just start working to fill the shifts. (Scroll to the very bottom of this page to see a sample schedule). As I do with my church security schedule, I would update it regularly and email it out once a week. I would also facilitate communications between team members when coverage is needed or when other issues need to be conveyed to all.

One of the potential holes in my plan is the need for screening all volunteers. Ideally, we would use people who’ve already been subjected to a TBI background check. Such folks may include, but are not limited to, church affiliates who’ve been screened, government employees, or foster parents. Otherwise, I’m hoping that someone or some organization may be willing to assist with the fees or the waiver of such fees.

So there you have it in a nutshell. As you can see by the listing to the right, there are a variety of ways you can help in devising a plan of action. Stake your claim, Oak Ridgers, to the proud heritage of volunteerism our community and our state boast – ACT NOW! Please provide your thoughts (using the comment icon below this post) on making this solution or others work. Or, you can email me directly at

With utmost sincerity and commitment,


1 Comment

  1. I heard that the "car accident" at Robertsville & Illinois referenced above was the other way around — that it was the child who ran into the side of a car, not a car that struck a child.That said, I do believe a couple of key intersections in Oak Ridge require a safety review — particularly those that cross the Turnpike. Do you have any kind of demographic data (e.g., numbers of "bus ineligible" kids) who have to cross the Turnpike, or Illinois? That would be particularly helpful in crafting an action plan and recommendations for the School Board's consideration.

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