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School Safety Top Of Mind In Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KGAN/KFXA) - While most students in the Cedar Rapids School District won't hit the books until next week, children at Taylor Elementary are already back in class. The school started its modified school year in late July.
Yet, its students time outside the classroom that's causing concern for parents and teachers as busy roadways heighten safety concerns.

Ms. JoJo is a crossing guard and the Enrichment Volunteer for Taylor Elementary. Each day she stands at the corner of 8th Avenue SW and Sixth Street SW to make sure students can cross safely. She said the fast moving cars and students that arent always paying attention, make for a scary situation.

You really have to be aware of all the sights and sounds of the streets, Ms. JoJo said.

She describes the area where she works as a crossing guard as more like a highway.

Taylor parent Amanda Steggall said she agrees that roads around Taylor as very dangerous.

A kid got hit right down here by a car that was speeding down the road, Steggall said.

Steggall isnt taking any chances with her first grader. She walks him to school every day even though they only live about three houses down from the school.  Steggall explained that because there isnt a stop sign off of 8th Street and 7th Avenue, its simply too dangerous to send her son alone.

I see kids all the time walking by themselves and they have to stop and they have to look out and they have to creep back, cause you cant see around all the cars parked. Its sad, its sad. I get scared every day watching kids cross the street, Steggall said.
While shes taught her son the basics of road safety, she said shed be much more comfortable if there was a stop sign near her home to slow down traffic. She would also appreciate a crossing guard in the area. That said, she works to teach her son all that she can about road safety.

He always knows you have to look left, right, left, right, twice before you even think about stepping out, Steggall said.

The city also installed flashing lights in school speed zones last year to help slow traffic. The goal was to modify some of the zones from when children are present to when flashing. The city felt the previous signs were unclear.  Ms. JoJo said she thinks the change might make a small difference when it comes to safety.

I think traffic might slow down a little, maybe a little more aware, Ms. JoJo said.

Police also ask that students never cross between parked cars. They say when there isn't a sidewalk that students should walk on the far left side of the street facing traffic. As for drivers, police ask that they avoid school zones during arrival and dismissal times for students.


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