Local News

Raleigh School Crossing Worries Parents

Posted September 7, 2001

— Some North Raleigh parents want police crossing guards to help their children make it safely to Wakefield Elementary School and Wakefield Middle School. Students are currently navigating a busy four-lane road.

Dace McPherson walks his kids to Wakefield Elementary School. He does not want them to cross Wakefield Pines Drive alone. At 8 a.m., the road resembles a freeway.

"A lot of kids don't have any choice but to walk," McPherson said.

"We deserve as taxpayers our right to see that our kids get safely to and from school," McPherson said.

Wakefield Elementary's teachers direct students across the road, but parents are signing a petition to get police to man the crosswalks. They say drivers do not pay attention to the teachers.

"These people don't stop at this crossing. They just keep going," said parent Gillian Duffy.

Parents say there are two times a day when this road is too busy to cross -- when they go to school and when they go home.

They asked the school system for a crossing guard last year and did not get it. But this year, the situation is a little different.

Students from Stratton Hall used to ride a bus to avoid crossing the road. But this fall, the school's transportation department decided they should walk. The new YMCA next door will only add to the growing traffic on Wakefield Pines Drive.

Raleigh police are taking a second look at the number of students walking, the traffic volume, and cracking down on speeders. The analysis is due in two weeks - a long wait for this neighborhood.

"One of these days there's going to be a catastrophe, and it's going to be too bad if it has to get to that point," Wakefield resident Katherine Spiegal said.

In Wake County, schools can request traffic lights and crossing guards, but the Raleigh Police Department determines if those guards are needed.


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