Friday, January 7, 2005
That's Just Wrong: School Crossing
More kids ride to school in a car or by bus, then walk or ride bike these days. But at one Miramar school, drivers say pedestrian traffic is out of control and just wrong... And they say the parents are to blame.
WSVN--Debra Whiteman drives to work every morning along 184th avenue in western Miramar.Her morning commute takes her past several schools including Sunset Lakes Elementary.Here, Debra worries the way children get dropped off is just wrong.
Parent Debra Whiteman:"They just expect the traffic to stop.''
Debra says the problem is many parents park in this gravel area across the street from the school.
Instead of crossing at a Crosswalk, they stop traffic in the middle of the intersection.
Debra Whiteman:"It's dangerous for all of the kids, they are not going to do anything until a little kid or a parent gets hit, and it's just becoming to the point where someone's going to get hurt."
We watched as dozens of parents parked their cars, instead of going through the school's official drop off line. Some parents walked across the street with their children. Others ran.
And some of the children even crossed on their own. Parents say avoiding the drop off line saves them time and aggravation.
Parent Marly Rodriguez:"I used to go in through the regular way but this is much
Easier because I am pressed for time."
Parent Sohail Kahan:"Imagine all the line from here to there traffic jams and people going to work eight o'clock.''
Parent Robert Sayeth:"It takes about 15 minutes to get in there, I got another son to get to a second school."
The city of Miramar does have a police officer stationed outside of the school to direct traffic, but there are no crossing guards near the school's pedestrian gate.
Debra Whiteman:"They need to have a crossing guard. They need to have it where it can only cross in one department one area and have one crossing guard to stop the traffic."
Parents say they too want guards and a crosswalk added.
But Miramar police say it probably won't happen, as they like.
Miramar Police Officer Bill Robertson:"It's in the middle of the block and it's just an unsafe location to cross the kids. This is an unsafe situation that the parents are putting themselves to and also their children."
Still, just down the road, on 184th avenue in Pembroke Pines, two police officers and four crossing guards help walk children across the street.
Police say the difference is these crossing guards are at a stop sign and not in the middle of the road. In fact, parents soon won't be allowed to park in the gravel area at all.
Officer Bill Robertson:"We are going to erect some no parking signs at that location, we will give them a week's notice you know warning them to not use that area, and after that week, we will begin issuing citations."
Parents have received a flyer with proper drop-off procedure. Police have scheduled a meeting for January 13th at Sunset Lakes Elementary school to talk about the problem.
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