In response to concerns about parking and traffic safety at the new Robert Moore School and Education Centre, the town will be implementing changes to help protect students going to and from the building.
At its regular meeting Monday night, town council approved a report from Planning and Development Superintendent Rick Hallam, which contained recommendations stemming from a meeting last month with the Rainy River District School Board, which had concerns about the safety of students crossing nearby streets to attend the school, as well as a subsequent meeting of the Planning and Development executive committee.
As such, the following amendments will be made to Traffic Control Bylaw 10/03:
•That pedestrian crosswalks be created at the intersections of Fourth Street East and Armit Avenue and Fourth Street East and Crowe Avenue, and on Crowe Avenue at the intersection of Third Street East;
•That three-way stop signs be erected at the intersection of Fourth Street East and Crowe Avenue;
•That the south side of Fourth Street East, between Armit and Crowe, be a “no parking” and “school bus loading” zone only;
•That the north side of Fourth Street East, between Armit and Crowe, be a “no parking 8 a.m.-4 p.m.” zone on regularly-scheduled school days, and parking be allowed at all other times;
•That the west side of Crowe Avenue, between the intersection of Third Street East and Fourth Street East, be a “10-minute parking 8 a.m.-4 p.m.” zone on regularly-scheduled school days for the purpose of allowing parents to drop off their children, and that parking be allowed at all other times;
•That the north and south sides of Second Street East, between the laneway bounding the west property limit of Robert Moore School property to the intersection of Crowe Avenue, revert back to calendar parking;
•That the west and east sides of Crowe Avenue, between the intersections of Second Street East and Third Street East, revert back to calendar parking; and
•That in all respects signage shall be as prescribed by the Highway Traffic Act.
The town also will request that the public school board undertake a survey of students to find out how many walk to school and which routes they take.
This information will be used by the town’s Traffic Safety Committee to do a further review of, and possible amendments to, Traffic Control Bylaw 10/03.
As well, the town will ask the public school board to consult with the Robert Moore School parent council, teachers, bus drivers, students, and other parents to get further input on other safety issues that may not have been covered in this most recent review.
Coun. Sharon Tibbs, who sits on the Planning and Development executive committee, said she wants people to know the town has put something in place with the children’s safety in mind, but that it is still open to input.
“That’s the important thing we should remember,” she stressed. “It’s probably just fine the way it is, but we’ll find out if there’s any glitches.
“We’re certainly willing to listen to the public if there’s issues.”
“The Town of Fort Frances is going to implement all of the things requested by the board of education, with a few minor changes, and we’re going to continue to undertake consultation with parent council groups, teachers, bus drivers, students, and parents, and anybody else that has any problems in the next few months,” echoed fellow committee member Coun. Ken Perry.
“It’s not a done deal, but we’re going to try to get started before we have an accident over there that we don’t want,” Coun. Perry added, noting the town had to do something before winter sets in and icy streets make the situation worse.
Coun. John Albanese, who chairs the Planning and Development executive committee, said committee members spent a considerable amount of time determining what the school board wanted and coming up with changes to address the issues.
“We were really concerned about the young children,” he stressed.
Raymond Roy, manager of plant operations and maintenance for the Rainy River District School Board, said yesterday that the board is satisfied with the measures the town is taking.
“Obviously student safety is our number one priority and we wanted to review the parking and the traffic flow to make sure it made sense with the new campus’ configuration,” he noted.