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Sutter Creek Upper Elementary Crosswalk

BACKGROUND

On April 29, 1999, the Amador County Grand Jury met with the principal of Sutter Creek Upper Elementary School regarding the crosswalk between Amador High School and Sutter Creek Elementary School. The issue concerning the crosswalk was safety of the elementary school students using the crosswalk. Also at issue was the safety of children crossing the Spanish Street intersection.

Crosswalk Between Schools

The access road to the Amador High School student parking lot divides the High School and Elementary school properties. Because the elementary school has no lunchroom, the children cross this road to get to the high school cafeteria lunchroom. Weather permitting, the children cross the street and return to the elementary school to eat their lunch outside. There are crossing guards in place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday the children are supervised crossing the street on their way to lunch by an elementary school staff member, however, on the return trip from lunch on these two days, there is no supervision. The street is not closed during school and although there are speed bumps in front of the crosswalk, some vehicles were observed driving Map not to scale too fast for conditions (children present and traffic congestion).

Spanish Street Intersection

Traffic at the Spanish Street intersection is very heavy in the mornings and afternoons when school is in session. Approximately 50 elementary school children cross the intersection on their way to and from school. This intersection is a 3-way stop. There is a crosswalk on the side that does not have a stop sign. The crosswalk does not connect sidewalks. There are no crossing guards. Parents have expressed an interest in performing crossing guard duties, however, school liability requires training and fingerprinting of volunteers. There is no budget or money to run a crossing guard program.


FINDINGS

  1. There are two accesses to the high school student parking lot:

  2. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, AMERICOR, a Federally Funded Program, provides crossing guards during lunch to cover the crosswalk.
  3. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, school staff must provide crosswalk supervision to lunch. Supervision is only provided on the way to lunch.
  4. The high school student parking lot access road is not closed during lunch.
  5. There is a gate in front of the high school student parking lot.
  6. Parents have volunteered to be crossing guards but required training is not available due to lack of funds.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Close the main gate, which provides access to the student parking lot, during lunch. Vehicles needing to leave the parking lot during lunch use exit behind high school.
  2. Require elementary school students walk behind the closed gate when crossing between the two schools.
  3. Post "3-way stop" on stop signs at the Spanish Street intersection.
  4. Include a crossing guard program for schools that request them in the School District Budget.
  5. Have Sutter Creek Police Department evaluate intersection and make recommendations regarding pedestrian safety.
  6. A crossing guard program should be implemented because of the potential for injury to a child.

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