Pedestrian Safety a Concern at High School, Parent Says
Resident urges monitoring of crosswalks after a 14-year-old was hit by a car Thursday.
For many, there seems to be a consensus that a police officer is needed to aid pedestrians in crossing the street outside the high school.
After a 14-year-old girl was hit by a 17-year-old driver as she crossed the street in a crosswalk from the Bridgewater YMCA to the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Thursday morning, one parent spoke to the township council to encourage the addition of a police officer before and after school.
"We are fortunate this time that the girl was not seriously injured," said Garretson Road resident Maria Cermenaro. "I am hoping to urge the police to take another look at this."
Cermenaro said there was a study done in 2005 concerning the possible need for a police officer to direct traffic and aid students heading to school in the morning, and it found that an officer was not necessary.
At the time, Cermenaro said, a traffic engineering circulation study was performed by Gary Dean Associates, and it led to the installation of blinking lights at either end of the school zone and a pedestrian activated blinking light at the YMCA crosswalk, among other updates.
But, Cermenaro said, it determined that an officer or crossing guard was not necessary, and she said police have said they believe 14- to 17-year-olds don't need an officer to direct them.
"Police have cited age in the past as a reason why a cop is not needed," she said. "But I have been in the crosswalk and almost run over by drivers not yielding. I don't think age is the issue."
Cermenaro said a speed study was done, and traffic was observed, and they found that no one passed a school bus or failed to yield to a pedestrian during the days the study was conducted.
The council said Thursday they would request the police take another look at the possibility of having an officer manning the crosswalk before and after school.
"The traffic is horrendous and improvements have not resolved it," Cermenaro said. "I'm hoping to urge police to take another look at it."