Changes Surrounding School Crossing Guards Coming to Milton in September

 

The 2019-20 school year is just under one month away, and some parents may be happy to learn that some changes surrounding school crossing guards are coming to Milton in September.

Back in 1986 Milton council approved a warrant system, obtained from a neighbouring municipality, regarding school crossing guards. This system, according to a recent council report, currently works well for midblock locations but not at intersections where all-way stops and/or traffic control systems are located.

As a result, it was recommended that Milton implement a formal policy regarding school crossing guards. This recommendation was also brought forward due to Milton's continued growth, and the opening of a number of new elementary schools.

And during a council meeting on Aug. 12, 2019, this recommendation was approved.

Now, as mentioned, come September a policy - 'Placement of School Crossing Guards Policy' - will be updated and implemented. This policy will result in a number of new crossing guard locations being established, and others being removed.

Since the recommendation was approved, according to the report that was brought to council, new school crossing guards will be implemented at Costigan Road and Miller Way (all-way stop) and Costigan Road and Denyes Way (all-way stop). In addition, the current crossing guard at the Laurier Avenue and Commercial Street intersection will be relocated due to new traffic control signals being installed. As noted in the report, the current guard at the intersection of Ontario Street and Laurier Avenue will also be relocated since only four children are crossing, along with there being low-conflicting movements. Furthermore, the guard at the Derry Road and Sauve Street intersection will be relocated south on Sauve Street for a few different reasons.

"There are now sidewalks existing on the east side of the road, and a number of school aged children that either reside in the new condo buildings across from the school or are dropped off by parents are crossing midblock with insufficient gaps in traffic," reads the report.

The town is also currently in the process of recruiting people for crossing guard positions to fill a number of vacancies.

And although significant changes are coming, the town is not just stopping there.

According to the report, the intersection of Louis St. Laurent Avenue and Farmstead Drive has been reviewed on several occasions, however, it was determined that a crossing guard is not required. Regardless, a leading pedestrian interval (LPI) will still be installed prior to school starting. This interval will provide an advanced walk signal so pedestrians are able to begin crossing the road before vehicles get a green light.

"In August 2019, signal monitoring equipment will be installed at this intersection, which will allow traffic engineering staff to monitor the intersection from Town Hall and make adjustments to signal timings if required," notes the report. "Once the LPI has been installed and operational for a few weeks, staff will determine if southbound right turns should be prohibited during the LPI phase from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and from 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. on school days."

In addition, the following locations will be further studied in the fall of 2019 and winter of 2020.

 

Once each location has been reviewed, if warrants are not fulfilled, the guards will be removed as of June 30, 2020.

Graphics are courtesy of the town of Milton.

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