WE NEED IMMEDIATE CHANGES TO ENSURE THE WALKING SAFETY OF OUR SCHOOL CHILDREN!

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Problem
One communal crosswalk located directly in front of Terry Fox Public School was 'erased' and relocated further east out of the school's sight along Sawmill Valley Drive. We desperately wanted our old crosswalk back, but due to crosswalk safety guidelines, our crossing guard would then be too close to the new 3-way stop signs. The erased crosswalk had orginally accommodated both westbound and eastbound walkers.

Our children now face THREE extra crossings without a crossing guard, and most without proper knowledge of 3-way stop sign rules (as none of our children are of driving age).

The Town of Newmarket can remedy the changes that increased traffic and caused more hazardous walking conditions for parents and children. More details of the new issues we've observed since September in point forms below.

We ask the parents of Terry Fox Public School, in support to our loyal, deeply caring and dedicated crossing guard Sheri McClintock, to sign this petition and ask the Town of Newmarket for IMMEDIATE attention AND changes to their poorly researched and executed plans.

The erased crosswalk resulted in 3 additional unsupervised crossings at:

#1 - The dangerously busy school driveway (East parking lot, and kindergarten drop-off). This driveway is so extremely busy the school needed to assign a staff member to attempt to 'police' the driveway. 

#2 - Society Cresent at Sawmill Valley Drive (north side). Children will need to stop and look behind them before crossing to see if cars are turning right. For some young children it is a big responsibility to make good judgments on crossing alone.

#3 - A new four-way stop sign (south/west side of the school)
This is dangerous. Young children who do not yet drive do not understand the working rules of a 3-way stop crosswalk. It is confusing for them.

We believe is only a matter of time before one of our Terry Fox community members get stuck by an accelerating vehicle! This is a worry I do not wish to have, nor can I sit back and do nothing! Having had these new changes in place for months now, we have concluded that there are several more traffic safety related concerns:

• Increased traffic (because parents would now rather drive their kids to and from school). We went from a 'walking community' to a driving community.

• Our crossing guard cannot be seen by drivers turning left from Colter St. westbound onto Sawmill Valley Dr. because of traffic along the south side of the road heading east along Sawmill Valley Dr. is blocking these vehicles from seeing her! Even with her fluorescent jacket and attempts to hold her flashing sign high for all to see, many drivers 'fly right through' without stopping.

This breaches the Town's own referenced: OTM Book 15 Pedestrian Crossing Treatments 2016, page 25, "Preliminary Assessments 5.1, ...Motorists must be able to see pedestrians in the waiting area adjacent to the crossing in sufficient time to perceive their intent to cross, react and brake to a stop comfortably".

• Eastbound drivers are frustrated after being stoped once at the stop signs, and then for traffic turning into the east lot driveway, then 'blast down the road' towards our crossing guard attempting to step out.

The Town may have assessed the traffic situations early in September 2018 in desirable driving conditions, we feel strongly that it will only be a matter of time before there will be an accident in the areas mentioned above.

There is now an EVEN GREATER EMPHASIS since we have entered the season of slick driving conditions. **SNOW** I do not feel these concerns are being taken seriously by the Town, that they are not hearing our concerns and have not been entirely cooperative with letting us know WHEN changes can be implemented, or if they are in-fact looking into the matters.

We need change today for the safety of our children!

Solution
#1.
We are asking the Town of Newmarket to relocate our crossing guard EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY to the 3-way stop signs. (But of course after Terry Fox Public School can properly inform our school members).
I have already spoken to our principal Mrs. Hammond and she is in agreement with these plans for our crossing guard to be relocated. She is also willing to inform the schools members of how to deal with the changes. I am happy to personally aid the school with promoting an awareness and offering a reward-system campaign for the students of Terry Fox to by-pass the current crosswalk and cross SAFELY with our crossing guard once located at the stop-signs.

#2
We ask the Town to place a Traffic Officer at the crosswalk of problem, during the 1st week of change to direct the westbound walking community to the 3-way stop signs where our crossing guard will be relocated.

#3
We ask the Town to continue to well inform the community AND the school of any further changes to the area prior to execution.

My Take:
I took it upon myself to contact the Town of Newmarket, Terry Fox Public School, and the York Region District School Board to seek out all details of why these changes took place. I had asked for the crosswalk safety guidelines for 2018 and read the very dry 100+ pages, I had also throughly read the original plans that were presented from the Town to our school back from March of 2018. I have tried in the best ways I know possible to seek change for my community without a petition. I continue to seek peaceful changes, but I cannot do it by myself, I am asking for your help.

It is not my job to decide how these plans were looked over and approved, but it is my duty now to speak-up for what I believe is going to be a SAFER solution, for all concerned.

I ask that you sign your name today if any of the points I mentioned above resonate with you.

I would like our community's children to experience the independence of walking to school safely by themselves.

I have never known a more loving and truly caring crossing-guard. She not only crosses our children, she volunteers in the school and hospital, AND she also crosses children at another local public school! She still finds time to give each child individual attention (ie. when they've forgotten their jacket outside, and picks it up for them). She somehow connects and knows every child by name! She is beyond thoughtful, and I support her 100%!



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