We’ve seen some major progress these past few weeks, not the least of which is the ORSB’s vote to fully reinstate transportation via a contractor. A lot of hard work by many individual citizens as well as school officials went into this decision and the end result means that all of our children will have access to school bus transportation. The contract must still be fully negotiated, but I feel confident that we’ve reached a conclusion on the matter for the time being. I’ll attempt to post pertinent meetings as I know about them and I encourage all Oak Ridgers to remain informed and involved WRT this particular issue.

The city has indicated that it may re-evaluate the need for crossing guards if transportation were fully reinstated. I can understand the temptation given that the foot traffic at some posts is already sparse. But I would encourage council to retain them for the following reasons:

1. The cost is nominal with the schools paying half (if memory serves correctly, each side is paying about $10K annually for a total of 7 crossing guards)

2. There will ALWAYS be children who choose to walk or ride their bikes – this is especially true of many high-schoolers who go to the civic center/library every day after school.

3. The presence of our crossing guards has less tangible benefits like deterring drug trafficking (as one pointed out was occurring until the offenders noticed her watching them) and reinforcing this city’s commitment to our children’s safety.

While council has moved to allow cameras, they are still in the evaluation stages of determining whether or not Oak Ridge will get them. There is now a group that is opposing such a change. Given my first-hand experience (described here), I have no doubt that both red light and speed cameras would benefit our city’s pedestrians as well as motorists.

I encourage all citizens to learn more and contribute to the dialogue that has already occurred here, here, and here.

You can read more about upcoming meetings on Ellen’s blog.

I’ll post an update on the 5 pieces of legislation that Rep Hackworth and Sen McNally introduced later this week. But you can check on them for yourselves via the information here.


  1. For the record, I think we need to keep the crossing guards. As you've correctly stated, some children will walk to or from school, for various reasons, even if bus service is provided.

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