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Jones school crossing unsafe? Who paid McCrory’s way?

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Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

The city of Asheville is working on improvements to the crosswalk at Ira B. Jones Elementary School.(Photo: John Boyle

The city of Asheville is working on improvements to the crosswalk at Ira B. Jones Elementary School. (Photo: John Boyle)

Question: I do the crossing guard duty Monday mornings at my kids’ school, Jones Elementary. It’s called DOG (Dads On Guard — a group of dads who volunteer to be crossing guard). The lines in the road are gone. I mean they really suck in the school zone. My thought is a school zone with properly maintained road markings is a safer school zone. We also have a pretty dangerous school zone. Our principal is very worried about it and is advocating with the neighborhood association and city to get a flashing light and a flashing speed limit/speed measuring sign or two. Our resource officer says even when he parks his cruiser out there with his lights flashing people don’t slow down. What works in making people slow down in school zones? Or what makes school zones safest? What organization does this research? Are the schools and transportation officials aware of this research? Are we following the recommendations?

My answer: I’m sure fog machines and strippers would be effective measures in slowing traffic, but that probably wouldn’t go over well at an elementary school.

Real answer: First of all, the issue at Jones is being addressed, somewhat.

“We have a work order in place to refresh the stripes on the school crossings and on Kimberly Avenue through this area,” said Jeff Moore, city traffic engineer with the city of Asheville. “We have some additional striping that should help with the parking situation in the exit of the school.”

The city does not have plans to add flashers or radar speed signs to this crosswalk, but Moore said the city will rotate its radar speed indicator signs to the school zone on a random basis. The city wants to make all 19 of the school zones in Asheville “uniform in their appearance and function,” Moore said.

“Our ideal school zone design would include signs, flashers and radar speed signs,” Moore said. “We have been able to upgrade one school zone to this point. It costs us about $8,500 per school zone to add flashers and signage to bring it up to our ideal design. This does not include the radar signs. We will continue to pursue funding to complete the other school zones.”

As far as the standards the city adheres to, Moore said it uses the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices “to make sure we meet the minimum requirements for a school zone, and to make sure anything we use meets the federal guidelines for safety.”

“We also belong to the Institute of Transportation Engineers,” Moore said. “We follow their professional updates, periodicals, forums, and refer to their various technical publications.  We work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation School Safety Office and have sought their input to help solve issues.”


Courtesy : John Boyle

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