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Belleville Council Looks at Child Safety

Longtime mom asks Township Officials for promise to increase student safety crossing Union Avenue on the way to School No. 8.

For decades, crossing guards and students have dodged motorists making right turns at intersections on Union Avenue across from School No. 8.

Last night Phyllis Frantantoni and Township Council Members agreed that stopping cars from making right turns at stop signs along the route is needed to increase the safety of crossing guards and students arriving and leaving the elementary school.

Councilman-at-Large Steve Niciosia told Frantantoni that the ordinance to stop the right turns will include all of the corners in the area of Union Avenue where students use crosswalks, including Holmes Street. Holmes Street is not mentioned in the existing ordinance, Nicosia said.

The school and Clearmon Field occupy a large block on Union Avenue, and several streets on the east and west sides of the very heavily traveled avenue have crossings that officials agreed can be dangerous when cars make right turns into children using the crosswalks. 

"All of the streets, west and east, north and south will be included," Nicosia told Frantantoni. "We will take steps before our next meeting (June 12) to make sure all those streets are included."

Township Attorney said the Council passed an ordinance changing the traffic laws on first reading, and the language will be amended to include all the streets surrounding School No. 8, and, "Students will be safer."

Frantantoni has urged better safety around the school for years, and the present Council has acted on her concerns in the last several months.

There were no children or School No. 8 parents attending last night's meeting, but others have complained to different council members over two decades about dangers in the area.

Jeff Mattingly May 24, 2012 at 01:14 PM
A clearly marked crosswaik and pedestrian yellow line sign across Belleville Avenue at Fairway Avenue has been needed for years also. School 10 children and other bused chidren who are picked up on Smallwood all have to cross there twice daily. About a year ago there was a traffic fatality there when a Smallwood Ave. woman was hit and killed in that area crossing the street while taking a walking with a friend. Belleville PD says there are more speeders on Belleville Ave. than anywhere else in town. Can we PLEASE include this simple and inexpensive safety measure in the ordinance to protect our children.

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