Taken from the Oak Ridge Observer website: When: Thu, August 12, 1am – 2amWhere: City Central Services Complex - 100 Woodbury RoadDescription: The City Public Works Department will conduct a public meeting for citizens to review and provide comments on preliminary plans for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program for Robertsville Middle School. In 2008, the City … Continue reading Robertsville Middle School Safe Routes to School Project Meeting
So, here’s what happened. For whatever reason, the school administration has been hell bent on cutting the a.m. transportation to the preschool (our head start program that services the most disadvantaged children in our community). When they tried it last year, as I discussed here, they claimed that it was to increase instructional time. The … Continue reading Screwing Over the Poor and Disabled Kids
While the wailing and gnashing of teeth continues over the RLCs, there are some people focused on moving forward with the real work of protecting pedestrians and bicyclists alike.According to this article, members of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee held a forum this week to discuss "ensuring safety for all who want to bicycle or … Continue reading Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee Takes Action
A few years ago, a child was struck by a motorist while crossing the turnpike from Oak Ridge High School. Last year, I monitored that area and observed numerous motorist violations that put students and adults in danger. Frequently, vehicles would come within inches of hitting students. During my 2 month stint in 2007 as … Continue reading Observer LTE on RLCs
From: Trina BaughnSent: Monday, September 07, 2009 5:01 PMTo: 'Chief Beams'Cc: ORSM; City CouncilSubject: JMS Traffic Concerns Chief Beams, I’ve been in touch with Terri, the JMS crossing guard. She has informed me that the pedestrian traffic has drastically increased this year (from 8 am/pm crossers last year to over 36 this year) and that … Continue reading JMS Traffic Concerns
Received this from a PTA newsletter - Good informationWith summer's warmer weather and sunshine, your family is finding reasons to leave the house that was a cozy retreat all winter. As your family spends more time outside, take some time to remind your kids of ways to stay safer away from home: * Teach your … Continue reading Stay Safer on Summer Adventures
On April 20th, the ORSB passed their FY2010 budget. Of major note, they eliminated the originally proposed cuts of 6 TAs and transportation for a.m. preschool riders and the alternative school students. We actively pursued these reinstatements as discussed here and here and here. These were major victories for our children and our schools, but … Continue reading A Not-so-Quick Update on Proposed Transportation Cuts
There are many issues at stake in this year's school budget. For the sake of time, I want to bring one, in particular, to the forefront. That is the slated cuts of both the a.m. preschool bus routes and the a.m. and p.m. alternative school bus routes. I will attempt to provide more informatin in … Continue reading Student Safety at Risk Once Again
FYI. I'll post updates as responses are received. From: Trina baughn Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 14:45Subject: Crossing Guard Status @ RMSChief Beams,I have not seen a crossing guard at the Robertsville/Illinois intersection for weeks now. This intersection remains heavily trafficked by both high school and middle school students from what I understand. Can you … Continue reading Robertsville/Illinois Crossing Guard Status
This is a John Walsh sponsored event that will take place on March 28th from 9:30-2:00 at Oak Ridge Chrysler Dodge Jeep Superstore @ 1005 OR Turnpike. Contact Howard Elliot at 482-7670 for further information. I would strongly advise doing so before going as there is no mention of appointments on the flyer I received.According … Continue reading Free DNA LifePrint Child Safety Event in Oak Ridge March 28th
As concerned parents, we would like to clear up some confusion regarding the circumstances at the crosswalk between the high school and the civic center. The ORPD recently implemented changes in an attempt to address real and quantifiable dangers at this location. Consider the fact that 50-75 students use this crosswalk daily and that this … Continue reading ORHS/Civic Center Action Items
Following is the link to the article in "The Oak Ridger" about the vest donation. http://www.oakridger.com/localnews/x185286155/A-matter-of-safetyWe enjoyed meeting with City Officials: Mayor Pro-temp Jane Miller, Chief Beams and Deputy Chief Massengill and the Crossing Guards who came also. We would like to express our continued gratitude to all of the Crossing Guards who serve our … Continue reading "A Matter of Safety"
Along with Mayor Pro Tem Miller, Chief Beams, and CPT Massengill, we presented new, LED lit vests to some of our crossing guards this afternoon. Thanks to all who contributed funds and special thanks to Michelle Doka for acquiring the vests and coordinating today's presentation!*****Also note that a detailed summary of potential solutions and progress … Continue reading New Vests Provided to Crossing Guards
Several different factors have contributed to the many "near misses" that have taken place at the High School Crosswalk. One of them is a lack of visibility particularly for the Crossing Guard who is stationed there. There are several students who participate in the swimming program and cross over to the High School from the … Continue reading Solutions to Improve Visibility Issues
After reading this, it's obvious that the need for increased awareness and action is still ever-present and very much attainable. More voices, please. Contact your public officials and share your concerns.Email sent today to City Council, City Manager, Chief of Police, OR School Board,etc.Hello and Happy New Year! I understand that there was yet another … Continue reading Unresolved Issues
The Oak Ridger ran this article today about Robertsville Middle School's participation in International Walk to School Month. According to the article, "Walk This Way is a national program that highlights the benefits of walking to school while encouraging children and parents to be safe pedestrians." RMS principal Mike Baker and others took students out … Continue reading Walk This Way
May you continue to touch those who knew you and those whose lives you changed forever.
Mr. O'Connor's response to my questions (see previous post)came in within an hour of my email. We are truly blessed to have such responsive local government. Thanks Jim!1. There is no funding for signal light so we will continue to use a Police Officer during the appropriate times. 2. I am not aware of any … Continue reading City Response to Today’s Email
Sent today to the city council, police chief, city manager and copied to the school board:Hello! I wanted to follow up on some of the matters we’d discussed at the last city council meeting. I’ll keep it brief:1. Regarding the police officer assigned to direct traffic – is this a permanent measure or will installing … Continue reading Additional Follow Up with the City
Many thanks to all who contributed donations in support of our crossing guards! All were delivered today and were very warmly received. We have some extraordinary people working to keep our kids safe and your generosity means a lot to not only them, but many others as well. Throughout the school year, please continue to … Continue reading Crossing Guard Appreciation
At last night’s city council meeting, the city manager and council provided an update on the issues that citizens have voiced concerns about regarding the ORHS/Civic Center crosswalk. Mr. O’Connor explained that he met this past Friday with the ORSB chair, Mr. Smith and with the ORS Superintendent, Dr. Bailey. Corrective actions are as follows:1. … Continue reading City Council Response to HS/Civic Center Crossing Issues
The following was submitted to city council, the chief of police and the city manager on 10-16-08:I appreciate that Chief Beams has responded to citizen concerns over the crosswalk at the high school and civic center. I understand that the time has been lengthened for the school zone and that the crossing guard’s hours have … Continue reading ORHS/Civic Center Crossing Follow Up
The following was submitted to the city and copied to the school board on 10-6-08 and ran in the Oak Ridger (along with another letter) on 10-15-08.All: In an effort to heighten public awareness, the following has also been submitted to the Oak Ridger. Though addressed directly to the city, any and all feedback is … Continue reading LTEs/Gov’t Correspondence RE: High School/Civic Center Crossing
It is time again to let our Crossing Guards know how much we appreciate their services to Oak Ridge students. We are currently collecting baked goods, hand warmers, hot drink packets, lip balm, etc… to give to them. We are also having the students who use their services sign Thank you cards to give to … Continue reading Key to Retention – Let Them Know They Are Appreciated!
...is next week. This Oak Ridger article contains some good reminders about child safety; I would add that it is best to continue having children ride in the back seat long after they’ve outgrown booster seats. It was the law in Germany and we continued the practice upon our return to the states. The additional … Continue reading National Child Passenger Safety Week
The city is moving forward with implementing red light cameras, but people are still wailing at the supposed injustice of it all. Given all the media coverage of this one little issue, one might think that our very livelihood hung in the balance.For months, the counter-arguments flew. At first, it was all about the fear … Continue reading Yellow Means Slow Down (and it always has)
The 2008/2009 school year in Oak Ridge fully resumes tomorrow and, thankfully, our children will have safer travels to and from school than they did just a year ago. Equal access to transportation for all students, crossing guards, better street markings and signage, and more attentive motorists will undoubtedly result in the risk reduction for … Continue reading School Resumes City-Wide Tomorrow
Although the discussion on crossing guards during the last city council meeting did not occur as I'd announced, I have some news on that front. According to the city manager, the city has decided to place 2 crossing guards at WillowBrook starting next week. The decision of where to place others has yet to be … Continue reading Crossing Guards for 08/09 School Year
I’ve heard from one of our long-time drivers some great things about First Student’s safety practices. The report is from this driver having gone through some of their training already and it sounds as though they greatly exceed our school system's previous standards. One example was that 2 traffic violations on one’s personal record is … Continue reading Positive Report
I've already stated my opinions in various places on Red Light Cameras including here. Maybe, though, this would prove to be a better alternative. Thanks to the anonymous sender of this hilarious clip!
The following was sent to the OR City Council, manager, chief of police, the OR School Board and all OR school principals:Chief Beams,At least 3 different times this week I’ve noticed that crossing guards were absent (during the appropriate times) at the ORTP/Civic Center and Willow Brook posts. Can you tell me if we still … Continue reading The Case for Crossing Guard Retention
BUSESWe’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 … Continue reading MAJOR PROGRESS!!!!!
On April 10th, with little more than 45 minutes worth of discussion, the Oak Ridge School Board voted unanimously to adopt Dr. Bailey’s proposed budget. Contained within this proposal is a huge change to transportation that will hopefully provide equal access to all children for bus service. I emphasize hopefully because, at this point, it … Continue reading Transportation Update
It’s not too late to voice your support to your representatives! HB2653 by Hackworth (SB3077 by McNally) passed the house unanimously and has moved to the Senate. As of today, the status listed is: Placed on S. Trans Comm. cal. for 04/02/2008The remaining 4 bills (discussed in further detail here), are seeing some action tomorrow. … Continue reading Update on Proposed Legislation
Government in action - Rep. Hackworth sent me the following, which I believe will be published in this week's local paper. I have a more personal stake in seeing this one through given that it has a direct tie to what led to the end of my crossing guard daysJust as with the bill to … Continue reading House Bill 2653 Goes to Floor This Week
Some significant accomplishments have been made thus far, but there is still much to be done. One group of Robertsville parents is working towards hiring an independent engineer to conduct a safety survey of the Illinois Ave/OR Turnpike area to fully identify all potential dangers and to recommend improvement measures. They are hoping to raise … Continue reading Safety for Oak Ridge Students (SOS) Fund
Rep Hackworth and Sen. McNally (with the help of Bill Nolan and the state attorney) have worked hard to effect change for our children via the proposed legislation outlined below. If passed, these bills will have significant potential for improving the safety of not only our children, but pedestrians throughout the state of Tennessee. In … Continue reading Contact Your State Representatives Today!
There have been some great developments in our town as of late. Tomorrow, 5 new crossing guards will begin working which will bring the total to 7. The new additions will be positioned at the following locations:(2) Illinois and ORTP(1) Robertsville and Illinois Ave(1) Jefferson Ave and Robertsville Rd(1) Fairbanks- for JeffersonYou'll most likely see … Continue reading Exciting Developments for February!
The following was presented to the ORSB last night. They gave no indication of being willing to explore any transportation options until April and no desire to provide additional transportation options until next school year. Proposed Solutions for Providing Equal Opportunity Access to Transportation for all City of Oak Ridge Students By Trina Baughn January … Continue reading Proposed Solutions for Providing Equal Opportunity Access to Transportation for all City of Oak Ridge Students
Dr. Bailey called me to discuss my questions below. He explained that his focus is on added police presence, crossing guards and bus drivers – he wants to allow the committee to focus on transportation.While I didn’t expect such a quick response, Dr. Bailey did state he’d have to get back with me on some … Continue reading Response from Dr. Bailey
This is in response to my original request for a copy of a report given 3 weeks ago (see emails at the end).--------------------------------------------------------------------------------From: TrinaSent: Friday, January 25, 2008 9:00 AMTo: 'Thomas Bailey'Cc: 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'Karen Gagliano'; 'Ken Green'Subject: RE: Transportation ReportDr. Bailey,I attended and heard your 40 minute commentary that was a … Continue reading Request for Progress Update from OR Schools
I don't have much time, but wanted to share some great news I just received from Bill Nolan (our local lobbyist). He has been working with Rep. Hackworth and the state attorney and they are introducing 2, possibly 3, pieces of legislation based on some of the brainstorming ideas listed below. If I understood correctly, … Continue reading The state is in session and our issues are being worked!
I have stated numerous times that I believe protecting our children in their commute to and from school is a multi-faceted problem that will require multiple solutions. And while much can be achieved from a variety of resources, the responsibility of implementing the most effective and beneficial solutions (full reinstatement of transportation and the formalization … Continue reading LTE: Time to Commit – Specifically, Please
I've tweaked this site a bit with the hopes of providing more organized information so that people can better support the cause. Most changes involve the sections to the left. Feel free to comment or send more info that I can include.TN lawmakers will be back in session the second week of January through the … Continue reading Revisions to this site
Traffic Accidents for the intersection of Illinois Ave & the OR Turnpike:2003 - 34 accidents2004 - 35 accidents2005 - 30 accidents2006 - 34 accidents2007 - 30 accidents (1 Pedestrian)Cost to transport 15 Rarity Ridge students: $15,000Cost to transport 30 students in the Vanderbuilt area: $0
I've been considering opening this site up a little to facilitate a greater sharing of information. There's some pretty decent traffic coming through, not the least of which are some regular hits by local and state officials. One of my thoughts is to post citizen communications, be they written or verbal, here so that all … Continue reading Who Have You Been Talking To?
November 27, 2007 I've updated the list to include recent suggestions. Any and all are welcome to use this list as a reference point, especially when communicating with elected officials. Note that the City Council has tasked the city manager to bring forth suggestions for change at the next CC meeting on Dec 17th. Email … Continue reading Brainstorming
For two days I was mad. I was mad at God. I was mad at myself. I was mad at you.It hurt so much! I just wanted to stop thinking about it. I felt selfish for wanting emotional support when others were suffering so much more. I needed the comfort of strangers almost as much … Continue reading If I had…If they had…I shouldn’t have…They shouldn’t have…We could have…
I accept God's will and my inability to understand it. I will refrain from public comment for a while out of respect for the family and those affected by this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers continue for the Paine family and all who hurt.
I am writing to ask for your support in resolving one aspect of the dangerous situations that Oak Ridge children are facing daily in their walk to and from school. You can read details about the specific dangers and what efforts have been made locally at http://www.protectoakridgekids.blogspot.com. With regards to your involvement, I believe that … Continue reading LTR to Rep Hackworth and Senator Kilby
After coming too close to being hit not once, but twice within 10 seconds this morning, my days as a crossing guard are over. While some are willing to risk their children's lives, I am no longer willing to risk mine at the possible expense of my own children.I still have some avenues to pursue, … Continue reading I’m Done
With Fall Break in effect for all but WB, and because the only WB kids I've seen are escorted by adults, I'll be taking the next week off from my normal a.m. shift. In the meantime, if you've been contemplating calling on local officials here's a suggestion if and when you do. Ask them what … Continue reading Taking a Break
An hour in the life of an intersectionBetween 7:10a.m. and 8:10a.m. every school morning, about 8 children cross through or walk along the intersection of Robertsville Rd. and Illinois Ave. That number can somewhat vary from morning to morning as there are at least 10 others who cross periodically.During this same hour at this same … Continue reading OCT 11, 07 LTE
16 kids crossed this morning - that's double the average! And 10 of them showed up within 10 minutes before daybreak. Factor in the extremely dense fog we had and you can imagine just how dangerous it was. Some of the reasons I've found that the non-regulars show up include having missed the bus, having … Continue reading Record High Today
The following has been submitted to the OR City Council and the OR BOE. As you will see, progress has been made. But there is still so much more to do! Please continue to contribute in whatever ways you are able. The calls and emails that have been made to local officials are making a … Continue reading Progress!
I've published some of the correspondence I've had in the next two posts to address what the schools and city have done so far. In both strings, all city council and BOE members were included.I've also had lengthy discussions with the ORPD. As of right now, they will not position a police officer at either … Continue reading Updated Info
Most CC and BOE were included in this string-----Original Message-----From: Thomas BaileySent: Friday, August 31, 2007 9:09 PMTrina: The city staff, Principal Mike Baker and I meet Wednesday and determined that a flashing yellow warning light needs to be installed like the high school has this year. This will create a 20 mph speed limit … Continue reading Email Correspondence with Superintendent Bailey
Most CC and BOE members were included in this string.From: O'Connor, James Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007The School Superintendent and I have met to discuss this issue. It was decided that school flashing lights would be a good start to addressing the issue. Dr. Bailey is looking into the Schools funding the installation and the … Continue reading Email Correspondence with the City Manager
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, … Continue reading THE PROBLEM DEFINED
Have you got an hour a day to spare? How about an hour a week? O.K. then, 1 hour a month? Call me an idealist, but I believe that’s really about all it would take to solve one of our most pressing problems. I am referring to our children’s safety in route to and from … Continue reading Initial Public Appeal
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 … Continue reading August 31, 2007 Letter to City Council and the OR School Board