Dangerous crossing

Fort Frances resident Leslie Danielson, in a letter to the editor in this week’s Times, is concerned about the lack of crossing guards around town to protect elementary students who have to cross a busy street to get to school—and wants to form a group to ask town council to include this service in the 2007 budget.
She notes other communities in our area provide this service, and rightly wonders why Fort Frances isn’t doing the same. Frankly, it’s a glaring safety issue that just shouldn’t exist—especially in a town designated as a “safe community” by the World Health Organization.
A similar safety issue involves the crosswalk on King’s Highway in front of Alexander MacKenzie School, which went the way of the do-do after the school was closed and demolished. Unfortunately, it leaves children (and their parents) who live in the neighbourhood north of the four-laner facing a dangerous trek to get to the Legion Park to play.
Just this summer, in fact, only the alertness of a driver prevented a potential tragedy involving a Third Street West woman who was coming home from the park with her young grandson. The incident, understandably, left her shaken—and angry.
With Alexander MacKenzie gone, the onus obviously is not on the Rainy River District School Board to maintain that crosswalk. But someone has to given the broader safety issue that remains there—and considering there’s now no designated place to cross King’s Highway from Central Avenue all the way to Keating Avenue.
The lights at this crosswalk should be re-activated as quickly as possible, or at the very least the street painted and signs posted to give pedestrians a safe zone to cross.
The lives of children are at stake.