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Simple solution | Editorial
We are, for the most part, without want in our community. We are in the enviable position to worry about things that much of the rest of the world cannot. Instead of gathering wood for a cooking fire or searching for clean water, we have the luxury to fret about the environment. We fashion a community full of opportunity and culture, and provide the very best schooling for our children. We have the ability to apply our knowledge and financial resources to solve problems. And when we do so, we do it in a deliberate fashion, endeavoring to be inclusive and thorough.
Sometimes, however, we just might deliberate a little too long. We tend to overlook what could and should be an immediate and simple response to a problem. Case in point is the absolute mess of traffic around the high school at peak periods where the wheels and feet of staff, students, parents and commuters come together before and after school in a clogged, risky mess.
The situation is poor whether it is dark and rainy when fewer are walking — or a bright, sunny day that brings out more students on foot or cycle but blinds drivers. The area immediately around the high school includes St. Monica School and church, the district bus facility, the library, PEAK, the pool, the preschools, CHILD and even the nearby Emmanuel School — which all hold some responsibility for the situation. Perhaps 3,500 people or so are crammed into the neighborhood in the morning. Adding to the mix is the hundreds of Island residents who live nearby, hustling off to get to work.
It is a frustrating and dangerous situation. One does not even want to consider what could happen if someone is hit. We have been lucky — the handful of students hit over the past two years on Island streets and near the high school have not been seriously hurt or killed. It is a miracle. Yet, some say that the issue is that behaviors must change and people should get out of their cars. Such an attitude is dismissive, condescending and alarming. The danger that someone could be maimed or killed remains urgent. Yes, any quick solution will not be scientific, but really, a couple of people in bright orange vests stationed at a couple of key places around the high school could only improve the situation. It works at the elementary schools and the middle school.
Let’s do something. Let’s keep the kids on the street safe — and adults moving to work.