Lance middle school traffic issues

At last night’s Public Safety and Welfare meeting, the issue of traffic control at Lance Middle School on 80th Street was discussed at length.  The school principal, Chad Dahlk, asked for support.  There are 930 students at Lance this year that start school between 8 am and 8:30 am, and most of the students get dropped off by parents.  He would like to find ways to slow down the traffic.

Mike Conforti, the parent of a Lance student, also spoke, and confirmed Dahlk’s sentiments.  He volunteered as a crossing guard with no pay on lots of occasions, even though police chief John Morrissey discouraged this for liability reasons.  “Signs are great, but we need more,” stated Conforti.  Additional police patrols at the beginning of the school year also help, but both of the gentlemen felt that lights and a dedicated crossing guard were needed.  Conforti said that two other middle schools (McKinley and one other) have crossing guards.  Why can’t they get one?

The chief stated that middle schools do not typically have dedicated crossing guards, and that McKinley and Jefferson Elementary Schools are the two schools with crossing guards.  Dennis Walsh, “Officer Friendly,” school safety educator, was also present, as were other members of the Kenosha Police Department, Lt. Eric Larsen, and Capt. Ron Bartholomew.

The city’s traffic engineer proposed placing 15 mph signs around the entire school’s boundaries (2,200 feet, a little less than half a mile) for the entire school year.  There are two designated crosswalks, but no arrows.  He will now put down arrows.  Forty-third Avenue has ladder striping.  He also proposed moving the signs to promote better visibility.  The school staff will continue to monitor the situation after school re-opens and will report back to the committee any dangerous situations that occur.  The traffic engineer also proposed one additional sign to be placed in the middle of the road, a “Yield to Pedestrians” sign, which has flashing lights on top.  He has these in stock, and will allow the schools to purchase them for $300.

Alderperson Michael Orth suggested painting the words, “School Zone,” on the road.  Walsh suggested utilizing the eighth grade students as safety patrol “lookout’s.”  This would promote leadership skills and would give the school the ability to “man” a lot more corners.  He offered to assist with implementing that idea.



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